Bryce Harper is one of the premier talents in major league baseball today, and he will be seven years into his major league baseball career when he hits free agency as an unrestricted free agent after the 2018 season. The Nationals should be doing what they can to try and trade the five-time all star to try and get something back for him rather than let him walk and get nothing in return. The former National League MVP has been a dominant hitter in the Washington Nationals lineup since he entered the league in 2012, and has been one of the better hitters in the game since 2012.
To go back on the whole Washington should trade Bryce Harper train, it is a train that the Nationals have to decide after the 2017 season what the market for him will be and if they want to take advantage of it. Looking forward, nothing would bring Bryce Harper's stock down including the Nationals potentially waiting for the trade deadline in 2018. There are plenty of teams that would love the chance to acquire Bryce Harper in a trade, and there are some teams that would have the certain assets that is needed to get Washington to trade Bryce Harper to them.
The Nationals' asking price should be around three top prospects in a system, and one starting caliber outfielder that could help Washington out in their current run at a World Series title for the first time in franchise history. With that being said here are 8 teams that Bryce Harper would accept a trade to and 7 teams that he would not accept a trade to.
15 Would - Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks would be a great fit for a superstar like Bryce Harper. Imagining him in the same lineup as Paul Goldschmidt would be one of the most interesting dynamic duos in recent memories. With adding a healthy A.J. Pollock to that mix their number 2, 3, and 4 part of their lineup would be a tough thing to pitch to on a night to night basis.
Now Arizona would have to give up something in order to get Bryce Harper, well if they deal Yasmany Tomas, to go along with RHP Jon Duplantier (2nd best prospect for ARI), LHP Anthony Banda (4th best prospect for ARI), and OF Socrates Brito (10th best prospect for ARI) would allow the trade to work. Washington gets two great young arms, and a solid outfielder, and a outfielder/third baseman while Arizona gets Bryce Harper. This trade allows Washington to be able to get something in return without letting Harper walk for nothing, and Bryce would want to take his talents to play in Arizona as well.
14 Wouldn't - Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers have nothing really set in stone that would attract Bryce Harper to want to be traded there. Yes, they have Miguel Cabrera and Justin Upton, but there is no way that Harper would want to play in the AL Central especially for a team like Detroit. Detroit does not have a good farm system, and can't even attract Washington with any of their prospects. They do have four of the current top 100 prospects, but none of them really stick out to Washington.
What Bryce Harper really wants is a chance to be able to compete and play in a World Series. Yes, he has been in the postseason year after year, but has yet to make it to a World Series. If Harper is going to leave he is going to go to a team that actually has a chance of making it to a World Series something in the foreseeable future, and that is certainly not the Detroit Tigers.
13 Would - St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals have been one of the most consistent teams in all of baseball since 2000. The Cardinals have made the playoffs 12 out of the past 16 seasons. Bryce Harper would love to play on another winning team that has had success in the post season during that span. Plus they already have a good solid core that they have decided to build around and Harper would do no more than to add to that core.
One trade that could get Washington's attention is if the Cardinals send them catcher Carson Kelly (2nd in Cardinals system, 2nd best catcher prospect), RHP Jack Flaherty (3rd in the Cardinals system) and OF Randy Arozarena (11th in Cardinals System), to go along with either Stephen Piscotty or Randal Grichuk for Bryce Harper. Washington gets three top prospects from the Cardinals and the Cardinals get one of the better hitters in the game today in Harper.
12 Wouldn't - Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are one of the best teams in baseball at the current moment, so why would Bryce Harper not want to play in Houston? Well they play at a huge ballpark that is more known as a pitcher's ballpark and not a hitter's park. That is because of how big center field is with that huge hill towards the end of it. Not that it would stop Bryce Harper, but having Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Bryce Harper all in the same lineup is very scary to think about.
Now it is not that they don't have a good farm system because they do, but Harper would not want to play in Texas. Harper would also likely want to avoid playing in the AL West so as to not draw any more comparisons to Mike Trout than he already has.
11 Would - Toronto Blue Jays
Bryce Harper in a Toronto Blue Jay uniform would be a very interesting sight to say the least. Having him hit in the same lineup as Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Troy Tulowitzki and company sounds like the Blue Jays would have one of the most dangerous lineups in the major leagues. Washington has to sit there and say to themselves ok now what can we get back in return for such a talented player like Bryce Harper.
One trade that would attract Washington's attention would be if Toronto gives up SS Bo Bichette (2nd in Toronto's system, 5th shortstop prospect), OF Anthony Alford (3rd in Toronto's system), and RHP T.J. Zeuch (6th in Toronto's system), and 1B Justin Smoak for Bryce Harper. Looking forward this trade would benefit the Nationals, and both Bryce Harper and Toronto can agree that Toronto is the right place for him to play the future of his career, or at least allow the Jays to make a World Series run in 2018.
10 Wouldn't - Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds are definitely not a destination that Bryce Harper would love to go to, and he would not accept a trade to go to Cincy. Cincinnati has two really talented top prospects that they could give Washington as part of the deal for Bryce Harper, but the Reds' current stage of rebuilding is not something that Harper wants to deal with. He is looking to leave Washington to go to another team so that he can give himself a better chance at winning a World Series.
Cincinnati at this very moment is not one of those teams that can help Bryce Harper in that aspect. They could have a good 1-2 punch at the three and four spot in the lineup with Joey Votto and Harper, but they need help in a lot of aspects in order to be a contender relatively soon.
9 Would - Miami Marlins
Now imagining this scenario is one of the better moves that could help Harper's career. Having Bryce Harper in the same lineup as Giancarlo Stanton is a dream that many Miami fans would love to think about. The idea of having those two big time bats in one lineup is not only scary, but it could be more like a reality than an idea if Bryce Harper has a say in it.
One trade that could intrigue Washington's interest could be if the Marlins were willing to give up LHP Braxton Garrett (2nd in Miami's system), 3B Brian Anderson (3rd in Miami's system and 9th best third baseman), RHP Merandy Gonzalez (6th in Miami's system) and OF Christian Yelich for Bryce Harper.
Now imagining an outfield in Ozuna, Stanton, and Harper is a trio of deadly bats that you would have to worry about in the lineup. Look for Miami to do what they can to make this dominant outfield trio a reality instead of a fantasy.
8 Wouldn't - Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim
The payroll that the Angels would have to pay if they somehow got Mike Trout and Bryce Harper on the same team would be one of the highest payrolls for two players in major league history. With Bryce Harper trying to stay away from the comparisons between Mike Trout and himself there is absolutely no chance that he would accept a trade to Anaheim. Harper would not want to play second fiddle to Trout in Anaheim. The Angels are Trout's team until he doesn't play in an Angel uniform.
Looking ahead there is no way that Anaheim would even consider to talk to the Nats at all. One because they would ask for Trout straight up in one possible trade scenario which would never happen, and two Anaheim does not have a good farm system at all. Having the two top premier talents on the same team would be interesting to see, especially with both of them in the prime of their careers, but it would not happen as much as fans would love it to.
7 Would - Chicago Cubs
The scenario of Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper teaming up again would be great if you are a Cubs fan. The two of them both grew up in Las Vegas and played on the same team when Bryant was 14 and Harper was 13. This scenario would be interesting to see if it would work out money wise, rather than Harper actually wanting to do it or not. Harper would love to play in such a rich franchise like the Chicago Cubs.
The trade that would benefit both sides in this scenario is if the Cubs trade RHP Adbert Alzolay (3rd in Chicago's system) RHP Alex Lange (4th in Chicago's system) C/1B Victor Caratini (6th in Chicago's system, 6th catcher prospect) and OF Jason Heyward for Bryce Harper.
For starters the Cubs could get rid of Heyward's ridiculous contract that has not worked out so far, then they add Bryce Harper which is a huge plus. Meanwhile, Washington gets prospects and a starting outfielder to add to their team. This move would be nice to see especially having two guys who grew up together playing on the same team.
6 Wouldn't - San Francisco Giants
Now this would not fly with Bryce Harper due to the recent turmoil that he has had with the Giants. With the brawl that happened after Harper got hit in late May, the bad blood between Bryce and the Giants will not go away for a while. Even if there was not the turmoil between Harper and San Francisco with the way they are playing this season, it would be hard to believe that Harper would want to play there.
Even though San Francisco has done better in the even years than the odd years recently, it would not attract Harper even if they won three World Series titles in a five year span. Harper is trying to win now, and go to a team that would pay him, and San Francisco is not one of those teams.
5 Would - Boston Red Sox
Now we get to the teams that could actually and realistically be able to trade for Bryce Harper and where he would accept a trade to. The Red Sox are one big threat that could steal Harper away from Washington, and the Nationals could get a very good return from Boston. With the Red Sox becoming contenders year in and year out, it makes it hard to believe that Harper wouldn't accept a trade to Boston.
One trade that would work is if Boston sent 1B Sam Travis (4th in Boston's system) RHP Tanner Houck (5th in Boston's system) RHP Alex Scherff (7th in Boston's system) and OF Jackie Bradley Jr. for Bryce Harper. This trade would help the Nationals out because they get two players already with major league experience, and then they get two talented right handed pitchers, while the Red Sox upgrade their outfield with the huge bat of Bryce Harper.
4 Wouldn't - New York Mets
The New York Mets are one division rival of the Washington Nationals that would not trade their superstar to. Bryce Harper wants to play on a contender and the way the New York Mets' luck has been over the past two seasons shows that they are not in contention for a while. Now it is not like the Mets do not have any talented prospects, because they do, but there is no way that Harper would want a trade to go to play for the Mets.
Plus the Nationals would never deal him to play for a franchise like the New York Mets. Bryce Harper has had success in his career against the New York Mets, and they do not have any MLB ready talent that would peak Washington's interest.
3 Would - Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers could have a big time upgrade if they can convince Washington to trade Harper to them, but Harper would definitely accept a trade to play for the Dodgers. Having a chance to play in LA would be something that would interest Bryce Harper enough to tell Washington to pull the trigger on the trade. The Dodgers have some good young prospects that could definitely help spark a trade interest with Washington.
One trade that would work would be if the Dodgers send LHP Julio Urias, OF Alex Verdugo (2nd in the Dodgers' system, 9th outfielder prospect), RHP Mitchell White (6th in the Dodgers' system), and OF Yasiel Puig for Bryce Harper. This trade helps Washington because they get two great solid pitchers, and two outfielders one with MLB experience and one working to make his way up to the majors. Look out for the Dodgers to be one team that can be able to get Bryce Harper.
2 Wouldn't - Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are one team that Bryce Harper is not interested in. The two sides have no history with one another, but Cleveland is not a place where Bryce Harper would like to play/live. Even though the Indians are already a good solid team, and have a good enough farm system where they can throw a few pieces Washington's way for him does not mean that Bryce would accept a trade to go there.
The Nationals need to trade Harper away to a place where he will be happy and that the Nationals can get a good package for as well. With the Indians already being contenders you would think that it would be a place that Harper would want to play, but how much longer are they going to be contenders is the question.
1 Would - New York Yankees
The most likely team that Bryce Harper would love to be traded to is none other than the New York Yankees. The rumors have been swirling about how much Bryce Harper wants to play for the historic Yankee franchise, and how bad he would like to win a World Series in New York. Plus the Yankees have one of the best farm systems in the major leagues, and could very well say we will give you a few young pieces in order to get Bryce Harper from Washington.
One trade that would work would be if the Yankees send OF Clint Frazier (2nd prospect in Yankees' system), RHP Chance Adams (3rd prospect in Yankees' system), RHP Domingo Acevedo (8th prospect in Yankees' system), and OF Jacoby Ellsbury for Bryce Harper. This trade works because the Nationals get two solid outfielders and two good young right handed pitchers while the Yankees get their new superstar to build their young team around.