Outfielder Bryce Harper is still a free agent. He is 26 years old and Harper is one of the best players in the game. He has played in the majors since 19 years old and Bryce Harper started his career with the Washington Nationals in 2012.
The Philadelphia Phillies are expected to meet with him this Saturday in Vegas. Harper is looking for a 10-year deal over $300 million. If Philadelphia decides to sign him, they would become instant contenders in the National League.
The Phillies improved drastically in 2018. They finished in third place in the NL East with a 80-82 record. It was Gabe Kapler’s first year as the manager for this squad. The Washington Nationals had Bryce Harper for the entire 2018 season and they finished in second place in the NL East with a 82-20 record.
If Washington lost Harper in free agency, there is no way that they would be better in 2019. Philadelphia had no true all-star last season and they won 80 games. The Philadelphia Phillies would maybe win an extra 10-15 games if they added Harper along.
That would be good enough to win the NL East. The Atlanta Braves won the NL East last season with a 90-72 record.
Philadelphia improved the roster this offseason in acquiring shortstop Jean Segura from the Seattle Mariners and signing outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
The Phillies also have one of the best starting rotations in baseball and it is good enough to make a playoff run. Speaking of the postseason, Bryce Harper has been in the playoffs four times in his career and he has not been the past the first-round.
If they were to sign Harper, the starters would be most likely: (C) Jorge Alfaro, (1B) Rhys Hoskins, (2B) Cesar Hernandez, (SS) Jean Segura, (3B) Maikel Franco, (LF) Odubel Herrera, (CF) Nick Williams, and (RF) Bryce Harper.
Last season, his batting average was .249 with 34 home runs and 100 RBI’s, along 13 stolen bases. Bryce Harper has got caught stealing three times and his on-base percentage was .393. In his career, he has a .279 batting average with 184 home runs and 521 RBI’s, along with 75 stolen bases. Harper has been caught stealing 31 times in his career. He has a .388 career on-base percentage.
The Philadelphia Phillies have not been to the playoffs since 2011. They have not won a World Series title since 2008 and that was against the Tampa Bay Rays. The last time they went to the World Series was in 2009 when they lost to the New York Yankees in six games.
Philadelphia also has one of the best prospect pools in baseball and that will also help their cause moving forward.