It’s shocking because of the star that Harper is and has been since high school. The former No. 1 overall pick, National League MVP, and six-time All-Star has been one of the most captivating players in baseball since his debut in 2012.
But Harper will be a free agent at season’s end and may join baseball’s exclusive $300-millon player club. And the Nationals have struggled mighty as they currently sit 52-53. Part of that disappointment has come because of Harper who has managed just a .220/.369/.473 slash line this season.
Not only has 2018 probably cost Harper a $400-millon contract but it also diminished his value enough where there is a question of whether or not it’s worth it for the Nationals to give him up, rather than qualify him and obtain the draft pick attached IF he does indeed walk.
That means the team that will be trading for Harper will have to offer up something better than whatever that potential first round pick is worth to Washington and the potential of Harper coming back which the odds are a trade would tank that possibility.
So, essentially, a team looking to acquire Harper is still going to have to sell-off a top 100 prospect or maybe even a few of them because of the reputation that the 25-year-old Vegas native has. Once again, this has nothing to do with his season this year which has seen him accumulate a WAR of 0.4.
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Now, we all know Harper isn’t a replacement-level player and that the still young right fielder will probably figure it out. The question becomes will a trade wake him up or will it take a winter. And is that risk worth the playing time and the haul it would take to get him.
For some teams—Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs—who believe they might sign him in the winter, this jump start might boost their odds inter eyes which might make the acquisition of Harper worth it.
For the Colorado Rockies, it doesn’t make much sense.
The Denver Nine would probably have to start with shortstop Brendan Rodgers, their top prospect who was just promoted to Triple-A Sunday evening. He is one of the elite prospects in baseball and has the chance to be an absolute star.
In fact, there might not be a way to do this deal without Rodgers, meaning the Rockies would be selling off six years of control on a possible stud player for two months of a (at least this year) replacement-level right fielder.
The Rockies have had enough of their own struggles getting Carlos Gonzalez correct, who is now hot as kettle, Ian Desmond, who is in the same boat, and figuring out who to play in left field. Another questionable body doesn’t seem like a solution, or, at the very least, the risk of that solution not panning out for the value that it would cost, doesn’t make much sense.
Besides, Rodgers will most likely debut in 2018 anyway and could be more important as a utility player than hoping for Harper when David Dahl in the corner has proven more, more recently.
Bryce Harper is a great player, the Colorado Rockies should make another move before tomorrow’s trade deadline. Even if it is sexy, it doesn’t make enough sense.