This next upcoming offseason in the MLB is projected to be one of the best, as far as free agents are concerned, in recent history. There are a list of names that general managers and owners will be drooling at the mouth to get. One of those big names is Bryce Harper. There were some rumblings at the trade deadline that Harper could have been leaving the Nationals in a trade. Those have passed and now, everyone is wondering where he will end up going. In seven seasons in the MLB, Bryce Harper has been a six time All-Star along with being the National League Rookie of the Year in 2012 and the National League MVP in 2015. He is sure to garner a huge contract this off-season, but who will be the winner of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes?
Certain teams will not even be able to touch Harper, financially speaking. Other teams might not be able to sell him on their vision for the future of the franchise. But, there will be a few teams that could have his eye and his full attention. The bottom line is that Bryce Harper is a difference maker and he could be a huge boost to every single team in the MLB. It is always fun to speculate a few of the options for the next season, and Bryce Harper's case in not any different. Let the predictions begin! Let's look at 8 MLB teams who could sign Bryce Harper, 7 who should stay away from him, and 5 he wouldn't even consider.
20 Could Sign: Los Angeles Angels
One team that could very well be in the hunt for Bryce Harper this off-season is the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels have one of the best, if not the best player in the game in Mike Trout. They also have a guy in Shohei Otani that could very well help the Angels both on the mound and at the plate when he is fully healthy next season. So, why not try to get Harper?
The Angels will have money this next offseason to spend and the combination of Trout and Harper could be very fun to watch.
Look for the Angels to be active in the Harper sweepstakes this off-season.
19 Stay Away: Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers have been quite the surprise this season and they are right in the thick of things for a division title and a playoff spot. The thing to consider though is that Bryce Harper isn't the missing piece. The Brewers need a big time arm to put them in an even better position to be World Series contenders. The Brewers have outfielders like Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich that can carry the load. They also have Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar that can carry the infield. The Brewers should stay away from Harper and keep their focus on pitching.
18 Won't Consider: New York Mets
One team that Bryce Harper should not even bother to consider is the New York Mets. The Mets are nowhere close to contending and look to be in even bigger trouble come next season. Yoenis Cespedes does not look like he will be ready to come back next season and be the Cespedes of all. Jacob deGrom is one of the best pitchers in the MLB, but he surely will not be a Met by next season. The Mets went with the approach of signing veterans this off-season such as Adrian Gonzalez and Todd Frazier and that strategy has certainly not worked out. Bryce Harper to the New York Mets shouldn't be considered this offseason.
17 Could Sign: Philadelphia Phillies
One team that could very much be in play for Bryce Harper is the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are in a great position right now. They have two top arms in their rotation with Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta in the mix. They also have young hitters like Rhys Hoskins, Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco leading the way.
Getting a superstar like Bryce Harper can be a huge addition for a young, Gabe Kapler led squad.
Harper has enjoyed playing at Citizens Bank Park, and being in the same division as the Nationals can be very appealing to Bryce Harper. Harper to the Phillies is a very realistic offseason option.
16 Stay Away: Oakland Athletics
The Athletics have some big bats in their lineup like outfielder Khris Davis and corner infielders Matt Olson and Matt Chapman. If the Athletics are smart, they stay far away from Bryce Harper. The Athletics have one of the lowest payrolls in the entire MLB. The A's are in a great position to make some good signings in the offseason to keep up their recent success.
The A's will not be able to sign Harper even if they really wanted to. It would be wise of the A's to focus on other signings and stay far away from Bryce Harper.
15 Won't Consider: Cincinnati Reds
The Reds, year after year are looking up at the Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs, and Pirates and never seem to ever take a step forward. The Reds do have a big time piece in Joey Votto at first base. Other than that, they will not be in contention any time soon. The Reds don't spend a ton of money and they remain bottom feeders. They have decent pieces in Scooter Gennett and Billy Hamilton that are good to help out. Other than that, the Reds do not have anything to really lure Harper in. This is one time Harper should certainly not consider a team like Cincinnati.
14 Could Sign: Washington Nationals
We can't rule out what is still a fairly strong possibility, which is Harper staying in Washington.
The Nationals will be doing everything possible to try to keep Harper.
It is the only team he has known for the first seven years of his career. He has been a huge asset to the Nationals success of reaching the postseason. The Nationals do have other pieces around him like Daniel Murphy and pitcher Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer. So if Bryce really wanted to stay in D.C., then he will have pieces still around him. The Nationals will be a player for Harper this offseason.
13 Stay Away: Seattle Mariners
While the Mariners appear to be one piece away from truly being contenders, it's not a slugger like Harper. The Mariners are desperately fighting to be a postseason contender. It isn't like they don't have good pieces in place. They have pitchers James Paxton and Felix Hernandez at the top of their rotation along with hitters like Nelson Cruz, Dee Gordon, Robinson Cano, and others.
The Mariners have their pieces in place, they just need another pitcher and maybe one more decent hitter. The Mariners need to be smart and shy away from the Bryce Harper madness.
12 Won't Consider: Toronto Blue Jays
The AL East is a two horse race between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. One other team in the division that Harper should not even consider is the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays do not nearly the same amount of talent that they had in 2015 when they were true contenders. They are a middle of the division team that does not have the firepower possible to keep up with the Red Sox and Yankees. They also traded away their best pitcher J.A. Happ so who knows where they will get quality arms now. The Blue Jays will probably not even be on Bryce Harper's radar.
11 Could Sign: Cleveland Indians
This next signing could be very interesting if it actually ever happened. The Cleveland Indians are almost the forgotten about team in the AL this season, behind the Astros, Yankees, and Red Sox. But people forget, the Indians are very good as well.
The Indians could use a big hitting outfielder and Bryce Harper fits that need.
They have guys like Francisco Lindor and Edwin Encarnacion in the infield. The outfield could use a bit of an upgrade though. With the Indians pitching staff as a whole and a signing of Bryce Harper in the off-season, imagine how good the Indians can be in 2019.
10 Stay Away: Houston Astros
One team that should certainly back off of Bryce Harper is the Houston Astros. The Astros are the defending World Series champions and they added Gerrit Cole who has been a great addition. They don't necessarily need Harper because they have just about everything they need. They have the great rotation with Cole and Justin Verlander at the top of it.
They have some of the best talent in the game with Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve up the middle and a guy like George Springer patrolling the outfield. The Astros should stay away because frankly: they don't need Bryce Harper to continue to win.
9 Won't Consider: Tampa Bay Rays
Another team Bryce Harper shouldn't even consider this offseason is a team once again from the AL East. This time, it is the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have one of the lowest payrolls in the MLB, so they wouldn't have the money to give to Harper long-term anyway. They do not have much of a pitching rotation with Blake Snell at the front of it and using the bullpen for multiple "bullpen games" as Kevin Cash has liked to do this season. They also play in one of arguably the worst stadiums in professional sports in Tropicana Field. Harper won't even look in the direction of Tampa Bay.
8 Could Sign: Atlanta Braves
The Braves are like the Phillies in the sense that they are young and taking the MLB by surprise with how good they are this year. The Braves have young talent like Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies and mix it in with veterans like All-Stars Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis.
The Braves could be big time players for Bryce Harper.
Harper can love the factor of playing against the Nationals in the same division and see just how close the Braves are to being a legit contender in the National League. Atlanta will be serious for Bryce Harper's talents.
7 Stay Away: Arizona Diamondbacks
The D'backs improved a lot last season, making the postseason before losing in the first round to the Los Angeles Dodgers. This year, they are right there with the Dodgers in the NL West race. They have a lot of good pieces in place, which is why they should stay away from Harper. The D'backs do not want to mess up the good thing they have going. And if they're going to splurge somewhere, it should be on pitching.
They have guys like A.J. Pollock and David Peralta as good hitters in the outfield. Another pitcher or two and they will be a scary playoff team, even without Bryce Harper.
6 Won't Consider: San Diego Padres
The Padres going after Harper would sure be a statement that they're trying to get better. The Padres are a team that tries to sign big time free agents, but, they always seem to not pan out.
They signed Eric Hosmer last offseason, but he hasn't helped the Padres get closer to contending in the National League West. They also have Wil Myers and Tyson Ross on board, but that is about it for the Padres. Harper wants to win now at this point in his career. He certainly will not be winning in San Diego, hence why he should not consider them for his MLB future.
5 Could Sign: Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers could be a big favorite for Bryce Harper next off-season. The Dodgers are in their period of having a legitimate chance to win the World Series. They are showing they are serious about winning it all this year by adding guys like Manny Machado and Brian Dozier.
The Dodgers can make another splash this offseason if they want to considering they have one of the highest payrolls in the MLB.
Harper will probably like the fact that he can be in L.A. and be on a team that can win right now. Look for the Dodgers to be very active in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes soon.
4 Stay Away: St Louis Cardinals
One team that should certainly stay away from Bryce Harper is the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals used to be a top level team in the National League, winning the World Series in 2011, and then getting back to the World Series in 2013. The Cardinals have a few pieces like Yadier Molina, Marcell Ozuna, and Carlos Martinez. But, the Cardinals are now having to look up to the Cubs and Brewers where they weren't even a thought years ago.
Harper will not want to be a part of a team that seems to be on the decline. If Bryce Harper is smart, he stays far away from the Cardinals organization.
3 Could Sign: New York Yankees
This team is probably going to be one of the favorites to land Bryce Harper this off-season. It should come as no surprise that the New York Yankees will be one of the teams that can sign Bryce Harper this off-season.
The Yankees have one of the top five payrolls in the MLB. The Yankees usually get their guy when they have their sights set on someone.
The Yankees will love having Harper's left-handed swing in a short Yankee stadium along with Harper loving being on a winning team in New York. Harper to the Yankees makes so much sense.
2 Stay Away: Boston Red Sox
On the contrary to the Yankees, the Boston Red Sox are a team that should stay far away from the Bryce Harper bonanza that will happen this off-season. The Red Sox have a great outfield with Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Jackie Bradley Jr. in the mix as well. J.D. Martinez can also play outfield when called upon.
The Red Sox have spent money the past few offseasons getting guys like Martinez and David Price on board. The Red Sox should be smart and try to bolster up their bullpen, re-sign guys like Craig Kimbrel and Chris Sale long-term, and stay away from Bryce Harper.
1 Could Sign: Chicago Cubs
This team signing Bryce Harper might make the most sense of all. The Chicago Cubs are trying to get back to the World Series like they did and successfully won in 2016. The Cubs have good pieces in place and can surely lure Harper to come play at Wrigley field. He is very good friends with Cubs third baseman, Kris Bryant, considering they are both Las Vegas residents originally. The Cubs can also find a way to get rid of a guy like Jason Heyward and free up money to pay Harper. The Cubs should be going all out to want to sign Harper and Harper should be begging his agent to get a deal with the Cubs done.