In 2018, arguably the best player in all of baseball will be a free agent and every team will be pursuing him. Bryce Harper is the type of player who is rarity because he has the ability to exceed in all elements of baseball. He has a great balance of contact and power, is a strong field, and even has a good burst of speed. Any team would instantly become better by acquiring him, but should seriously consider both the pros and cons before executing.
Although Bryce Harper is a superstar, he also has a very bad temper that may lead teams to be a bit skeptical. At times, he has come across as being a bit too self-centered and not caring about the team as much as he should. It is clear that when he hits free agency, he will be looking to do what is best for him financially. That is not necessarily a bad thing because all players tend to do that, but he is a bit of a wild card due to his eccentric behavior. Even with these issues, free agents like Harper only come once in a lifetime so he will receive a lot of interest.
With that, here is a list of eight teams where Bryce Harper should sign and seven teams that he should avoid.
15 Sign: Baltimore Orioles
Imagine Bryce Harper switching teams and joining the Nationals’ cross town rival. That would be crazy to think, but not too far-fetched due to Harper’s eccentric personality and temperament. The Orioles are a team that definitely are in a win now type of mindset and acquiring a player like Harper would instantly make them a bigger threat to winning the World Series.
The Orioles roster is pretty strong, but they need to add more depth to compete with in the top heavy AL East division. With the addition of Harper, it would provide them with a very solid “3-4” punch with him and Machado. Two elite superstars on one baseball team is the key to winning and the Orioles would benefit immensely with Harper’s talent.
14 Don't Sign: Oakland A’s
If Bryce Harper wants his giant payday, he should avoid signing with the Oakland A’s because they have one of the lowest team budgets in the MLB. There have been rumors that Harper expects to make $400 million dollars with a long term contract and the A’s definitely would not be able to afford that. They have been known for their “Moneyball” tactics and getting a player like Harper goes completely against that.
The A’s are also in a full rebuild right now and Harper seems to be in a position where he wants to win now. Going to the A’s long term could hurt his chances ever winning because they would not be able to get much talent around him. An MLB team needs to have solid depth to make it far in today’s game so do not expect to see Bryce Harper in green and yellow anytime soon.
13 Sign: Philadelphia Phillies
There have been many rumors that the Philadelphia Phillies are interested in Bryce Harper and this definitely makes sense. The Phillies have not had much success their 2008 World Series and recently lost big contracts, such as Chase Utley’s and Ryan Howard’s. The Phillies have money to spend and need a leader to help develop their immense young talent.
Although the Phillies may not be a contender right now, they very well could be in the upcoming seasons and adding Harper would help their chances extremely. Harper may not necessarily see the Phillies as his first choice, but he definitely should consider the great possibilities that could come with him joining their fantastic franchise.
12 Don't Sign: Cincinnati Reds
Bryce Harper should avoid signing with the Cincinnati Reds because they are a team that seems to lack total direction at this current moment. The Reds have a great history and Harper would be a great name to add to it, but sadly, it is not the time for them. The Reds have been struggling for years now and a change does not appear to be coming any time soon.
Harper would be a great bat to slot under Joey Votto, but it is important to note that Votto is the subject of trade rumors at this very second. With that said, the Reds are clearly in a rebuilding phase and Harper going there would not benefit his career whatsoever. Harper will not obtain a World Series Championship there so there is no way he will be heading to Cincinnati.
11 Sign: Texas Rangers
Although the Texas Rangers are struggling a bit this season, they still would be a good destination for Bryce Harper to join. The Rangers have a roster that is still very strong on paper and Harper joining the mix would make them compete with the strong Houston Astros. The Rangers are definitely in need of some more power in their lineup and Harper would be a strong option for them.
The Rangers are also a team that has a lot of money to spend and are one of the most expensive franchises in the MLB. They also have proven in the past that they are not afraid to sign players to large contracts, as portrayed by Alex Rodriguez’s monster deal with them in 2000. Harper could help this Rangers club finally win a long overdue World Series Championship.
10 Don't Sign: Houston Astros
Although the Houston Astros are an absolute juggernaut right now, Bryce Harper should avoid signing with them due to the fact that they already have so much talent on their roster. With this, Harper would not be able to receive all the money that he is looking for and could very well lash out about it if he chose to go there. Harper just does not seem like a good fit for Houston.
The Astros definitely are a team that could provide Harper his first World Series Championship, but due to his desires of money, it just will not happen that way for him. The Astros are a team that does not have a lot money and they already need to make sure they do not lose players like Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. With that, Harper going to Houston is out of the question.
9 Sign: Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are a team that is always looking for a power bat and Bryce Harper definitely fits that description. Like many teams on this list, the Blue Jays are one player away from being an elite franchise in the MLB and it is apparent that Harper could provide them with that. With Jose Bautista getting old as well, Harper could be a solid replacement for the middle of their order.
The loss of Edwin Encarnacion has also left a big dent in their order and has made the Blue Jays drop off a bit this year. With that the Blue Jays should seriously try to bring in Harper to help them compete in one of the strongest divisions in the MLB. It appears that every team in the AL East is on the rise and the Blue Jays need to keep up. Harper is the answer to this issue.
8 Don't Sign: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
If Bryce Harper were to join the LA Angels, it would instantly make them the most feared team in the league due to the fact that they already have Mike Trout. Yet, due to finances, this simply is impossible because Harper is in pursuit of a $400 million dollar contract and Trout very well may expect the same thing when he is a free agent.
It would be amazing to see these two on the same ballclub, but it will not happen with the Angels. The Angels are definitely a team on the rise currently, but Harper could end up hurting their rebuild because they would not be able to get talent around him and Trout. The Angels need to stick to the process at hand and try not to rush anything by signing Harper. It would be a recipe for disaster.
7 Sign: Los Angeles Dodgers
Bryce Harper could very well be the big bat that the Los Angeles Dodgers need to win their long overdue World Series title. The Dodgers have been consistent contenders for a decade, but have yet to win during that time span. With Harper, they instantly are a stronger force offensively and would have a player that would provide them with clutch offense to help with their amazing pitching.
The Dodgers have a lot of money to spend because of how expensive their franchise is so Harper should seriously consider joining them. The Dodgers would definitely give him a strong opportunity to win a championship and could help him continue to grow his potential Hall of Fame resume. With this, Harper being in Blue and White is very distinct possibility.
6 Don't Sign: San Francisco Giants
Although the Giants have a lot of money to spend, Harper should avoid signing with them because they are clearly on the decline. This season the Giants are performing so poorly and are at the bottom of the NL West division. It seems unlikely that Harper would be willing to join a team who has a core of players who are decreasing in talent.
Harper also has a lot of bad blood with the Giants, as demonstrated this season when he charged the mound against them. It seems unlikely that Giants fans would be willing to accept him after this, even if he is a superstar. Harper’s personality may very well turn off the Giants from even pursuing him. At the end of the day, no superstar should join their rival so do not expect Harper to be in San Francisco.
5 Sign: Boston Red Sox
Bryce Harper would be an excellent addition for the Red Sox because currently, they are a team who are in dire need of a power hitter. The Red Sox have one of the best pitching staffs in the MLB, but have seen themselves struggling for offense and it is hurting their chances of winning a World Series. Yet, by adding Harper, they instantly would solidify themselves as the best team in the AL East.
The Red Sox recently rid themselves of the atrocious contract of Pablo Sandoval and will be able to use that money to pursue a player like Harper. The Red Sox need to fill the void of losing David Ortiz’s power in some way and Harper would be an excellent replacement. Expect the Red Sox to work very hard to obtain Harper’s services in the 2018 offseason.
4 Don't Sign: New York Mets
The New York Mets are an absolute disaster right now and Bryce Harper should stay away from them. Harper has made it clear that he wants to win a World Series and the Mets will not provide him with that opportunity. Harper needs to join a team that has a set identity and not one that seems to never have it figured out.
The Mets do have some talent on their roster currently, but they simply are not finding ways to win games and that is hurting their chances to even receive interest from Harper. The Mets do have the money to acquire a player like Harper, but it definitely will not happen because Harper has made it clear exactly what he wants: a big contract and a World Series Championship.
3 Sign: New York Yankees
Bryce Harper has made it clear that he grew up a huge Yankees fan and he very well could end up playing there. This works out for the Yankees as well because they are a team that are on the rise once again and are a contender. The Yankees already have a superstar with Aaron Judge leading the way, but adding Harper would make their offense seemingly unstoppable.
Harper to the Yankees makes all the sense in the world because they have the money to acquire his services and they are on the cusp of a World Series championship. Harper could have the chance to win with his childhood team and win with the best MLB franchise in the history of the game. Expect Harper to consider this option greatly. He very well could be in pinstripes.
2 Don't Sign: Washington Nationals
Although it is not openly stated, the bridge between Bryce Harper and the Nationals appears to be almost completely burned. Harper still shows up to play for the Nationals, but he has made it clear through the media that he is looking forward to his time as a free agent. The Nationals seriously need to consider if they should try to trade him before his contract is up or let him go for nothing.
When a player is on a team, he should be completely devoted to them until his time is up. In Harper’s case, there have been reports for years that he is interested in playing for the Yankees someday and others that state his number one choice is to play with the Cubs. This should be a big red flag for the Nationals and they should prepare to move on from Harper. That is their best option at this point.
1 Sign: Chicago Cubs
It has been reported that Bryce Harper wants to play for the Chicago Cubs and he should go where he wants to play the most. To make this happen, the Cubs would have to rid of a few big contracts, but they can make it work. They have plenty of time to weigh their options and should jump on this once and a lifetime opportunity.
The Cubs are already contenders each season they play and getting Bryce Harper could make them a modern day dynasty. Harper is also very close friends with Cubs’ superstar Kris Bryant so the two of them would have immense chemistry on and off the field. Harper seems like a perfect fit for Chicago and the Cubs need to somehow make this happen. Harper is interested and waiting.