ALBRIGHT: Keep on dreaming Harper

Manny Machado’s monster 10-year, $300 million deal from the San Diego Padres erased one of the two biggest names from the Major League Baseball Free Agency list last Monday.

His move possibly setting in motion the falling dominoes triggering the eventual commitment of remaining big fish Bryce Harper. The 2015 National League Most Valuable Player remains largely linked to the Philadelphia Phillies. Possible dollar amounts for his services remain sequestered. What is known is he is seeking a 10-year deal similar to the one inked by Machado.

Rumored price tags for his services as late as one season ago reached into the absurd. Did I say absurd? I think we are beyond the realm … how about ridiculous.

If Harper and mega-agent Scott Boras have their eyes fixed on $400 million, both need to keep dreaming. (Awe… now I kind of hope he signs a one-year deal with a California team).

These hopes came before he decided to bat .249 in 2018 as the stacked Nationals barely finished above .500. His sub -.250 mark being the second time in three years he performed poorly. He hit .243 in 2016.

Strangly each year came after a standout season like his MVP year and 2017 where he hit .319 with 29 homers and 87 RBI. Teams would like to see some consistency if they are paying Harper $30 to 40 million plus annually, instead of a glorified Evan Gattis.

He’s hit 40 homers and driven in 100 once and not in the same season. By comparison, the man who currently owns the largest deal for an outfielder, Giancarlo Stanton, has driven in 100 runs three times including 132 in 2017 with 59 bombs.

Machado offered more than Harper, both 26, in the avenue of two-way talent.

He fields well at two premium positions (3B and SS) with virtually the same offensive output over his career compared to the outfielder (Machado: .282/.385/.487 with 175 HRs and 513 RBI to Harper: .279/.388/.517 with 184 HRs and 521 RBI). This is why he was signed first to another overhyped baseball deal.

Though it was always going to take a sap like Padres’ general manager AJ Preller to dole out an excessive deal, the Yankees’ Hal Steinbrenner is not his father folks.

While whispers of collusion have passed amongst the players union this offseason, Harper may have done this to himself.

Rejecting the Nationals’ offer of $300 million showed he bought into his own hype. One deal he definitely wants back in hindsight … at least you would have to think so, right? Add a little more money, maybe $25 million, and finish your career in Washington D.C. Nationals fans adore him by the way.

Big-time spenders in the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs have shown zero interest as each needs to start locking up their young core in the upcoming years.

The Dodgers appear to be doing their best impression of Home Improvement’s Wilson Wilson Jr., peering slowly over the fence in interest.

Boras’ egomanical machinations didn’t help matters as he wants to say he secured for his client the largest contract in baseball history. I am certain “Negotiator of the largest contract in baseball history” is a title Boras wants on his list of accomplishments. I have learned well the workings on Boras especially his belief the players receive a disproportiante amount of the MLB revenue.

A contract slowly slipping away as the MLB draws closer and closer to the first game of the 2019 season.

Teams instead establishing a platoon at the outfield spot worth the combined sum of a one-year payment to Harper.

Can somone queue Aerosmith? 

Contact Joe Albright at jalbright@newsandsentinel.com.

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