At the conclusion of the 2018 MLB season, Bryce Harper will be a free agent. Although that is a long ways away, speculation regarding where Harper will wind up has already begun, and there’s promising news for Yankees fans.
As it is pretty well-known, Bryce Harper grew up a die-hard New York Yankees fan. He has stated in the past that he’s always dreamed of being a Yankee. When Harper was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 16, he was asked about his baseball career ambitions. He had this to say:
"“Be in the Hall of Fame, definitely. Play in Yankee Stadium. Play in pinstripes. Be considered the greatest baseball player who ever lived. I can’t wait.“"
Harper wants to be a Yankee; and that’s half the battle right there. Although there are a lot of factors involved in signing a free agent, when a player makes it known that they want to play for a certain team, said team really just needs to make a good offer, and they have a high probability of landing that player. It’s going to be up to the Yankees in 2018 to determine if they are willing to pay the high price that Harper’s talent will ultimately demand.
At the ripe age of 26, Harper will be entering the prime of his career as a free agent. Even though the Yankees are known for offering monstrous deals, they haven’t offered a big contract to a young player entering their prime in some time. With Harper hitting 42 homers in the pitcher friendly Nationals Park, one could only imagine how many the lefty could hit with the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium.
When Harper is a free agent, he just might be the first athlete to be offered a contract of half a billion dollars. He could likely get somewhere between $400-500 million, and if there’s any team that’s willing and able to pay that type of money, it’s the New York Yankees.
The Yanks have been tight with their spending over the last year. They haven’t signed any free agents this offseason, and they will be in a good position to make a high offer in 2018. When the 2017 season concludes, the Yankees will be free of most of their big contracts, including: Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, and CC Sabathia, along with Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, and possibly Brian McCann in 2018. This leaves the Yankees with only $45.1 million on the books for the 2019 season, so there’s a lot of money to be spent
Harper’s goals are clear: he wants to be a Yankee, he wants to be in the Hall of Fame, and he wants to be the best player ever. These are elite goals of an elite caliber player that will have to culminate over a long and successful career in the MLB. However, one of those goals could happen sooner rather than later, and Bryce Harper could don the pinstripes as early as 2018.
What do you think Yankee fans? Let us know in the comments below.