Los Angeles Dodgers: Washington should be favored for Bryce Harper

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Bryce Harper #34 during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Nationals Park on July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Bryce Harper #34 during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Nationals Park on July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Dodgers have re-emerged as the favorites for superstar Bryce Harper when it really should be his old team leading the way.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were out of the running in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes so long ago that it feels like an entire offseason ago. When the rumors around Harper died down after the Winter Meetings, many Dodger fans gave up on Harper.

Signing A.J. Pollock was the nail in the coffin and Dodger fans certainly should be content with the team, with or without Harper.

However, with Harper still not signed to a team despite Manny Machado signing over a week ago, the Dodgers have re-emerged in the running. A contingent of Dodgers, led by Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman, met with Harper in Las Vegas on Sunday.

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You don’t just meet with a player to have a cup of coffee. There were serious discussions going on. That might not mean anything, but it has given every Dodger fan hope and has placed the team back in the forefront.

What makes these reports even sweeter is the fact that Harper probably should have been signed by the Philadelphia Phillies by now. The Phillies are literally the perfect team for Harper; they have the cap space and are a young team on the rise that is going to contend for the next few years.

That is literally the perfect landing spot, and while they might not give him the money he wants, they probably are the highest bidder.

However, since they are not giving the money he wants he might just sign with the team he wants to play for (the Dodgers) for fewer years. Perhaps Harper just wants to stay close to Vegas in LA, play in the bright lights of Hollywood and does not want to deal with the sometimes brutal Philly fans.

While the Dodgers might not offer 10 years it would not be all the surprising to see the team sign a six-year deal worth $210 million, giving Harper an approximate annual value of $35 million. Throw in an opt-out after year four and this could work out for both sides.

That logic is what has propelled the Dodgers to the forefront when they really should not be the favorite.

The favorite for Harper should be the team that not many are talking about, like the San Diego Padres with Manny Machado. That team is Harpers’ old home, the Washington Nationals.

If the Dodgers and Harper cannot agree to a contract that makes sense it is very easy to see Harper going back to Washington, especially if they pay the money.

While they might not go higher than the $300 million they offered, Harper can sign a 10-year deal for $305 million (just to beat Machado) with opt-outs every three or so years.

Washington D.C. presents familiarity for Harper. It might not be Las Vegas but it is the city he has called home since 2012. It also presents a contender; the pitching staff is still elite and got better and the offense is fueled with youth and experience.

The Nationals with Harper are justifiably in the World Series conversation and could even move past the Dodgers as the favorites. Sure, they haven’t won a playoff series with Harper but that does not affect what the team will do in the future.

Washington provides comfort, a fan base that already loves him and a team that is built to contend.

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With the Los Angeles Dodgers not being the team known to dish out a lot of money, I would bet on the Washington Nationals to re-sign Harper.