While it cannot happen until after the 2018 season, rumors are already heating up regarding the New York Yankees and the possibility that they will sign Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. With a record of 5-8, the Yankees are once again going to have a tough battle in the elite American League East. While there is a chance that the Yankees sneak into the playoffs this season, it is unlikely that they are going to win the World Series. Since the Yankees’ last World Series in 2009, fans have become restless with the mediocre play in recent years.
With Yankee greats such as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada now distant memories, the organization is looking for their next batch of young stars. CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira are also close to the end of the road, which means the Yankees can finally start fresh. Masahiro Tanaka appears as though he can be the team’s ace for the foreseeable future, but they are currently lacking that big star on offense.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, MLB insiders have been speculating that Harper chooses the Yankees when he finally becomes a free agent. In 2015, Harper had a batting average of.330, 42 home runs, 99 RBIs, and a WAR of 9.9. In 14 games in 2016, Harper is hitting.321. He also has eight home runs and an astounding 22 RBIs. At only 23 years old, these numbers are remarkable.
Since Harper’s debut came at such a young age, his free agency situation after the 2018 season is going to be unique. While many players do not become free agents until they are almost 30 years old, Harper will just be turning 26 years old. That means his next contract is going to include the majority of his prime years.
While the terms of Harper’s upcoming contract are currently unknown, numerous sources are speculating. USA Today believes a 10-year, $400 million contract is very possible.
“Harper’s going to get so, so much money. A 10-year, $400 million contract actually seems fairly reasonable for a player of his caliber hitting free agency at age 26.”
NBC Sports speculates that the deal could be a 12-year, $500 million contract.
“So what would a $500 million deal look like for Harper? I suppose it could be a 12-year deal for $500 million with much of it backloaded and Harper given an out after six years. It could be a straight 10-year, $500 million deal. It could be something more creative.”
Since Harper is rumored to be looking to get the most amount of money possible, only a few MLB teams are going to be in the mix for his services. While the Nationals have not been known to be big spenders in free agency, they have to be included in the list since they are Harper’s current team. ESPN lists the Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies as the other strong possible landing spots.
“If Harper follows the same path as almost every other client of agent Scott Boras, he will not sign with the Nationals before becoming a free agent after the 2018 season. If Harper is like most other Boras clients, he will go into the open market and be incredibly well-positioned to be the centerpiece of a bidding war between the Nationals, the Yankees, the Phillies — who lead the world in payroll flexibility as they build a monster — and perhaps other teams.”
The idea of spending $400 million to $500 million on one player sounds absurd. While no other MLB player has received a contract that has even approached $400 million, large contracts like that have generally not worked out for the team. Regardless of past history, Harper may actually be worth the price. Rarely have any of the other players that have received such large contracts been this good at such a young age. The team that signs Harper will also get him at an age where he is still getting better.
While the New York Yankees have not recently been the big spenders that they were in past years, rumors are going to continue to connect them to signing Bryce Harper after the 2018 season. Since the contract is most likely going to be the largest in MLB history, the Yankees are going to be only one of a few teams that can afford to pay it.
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