The New York Yankees are expected to make a serious run at a super-star this offseason, and Bryce Harper might fit the bill. Here’s a look at what he would bring to the the team and if he could be inserted seamlessly into a lineup full of talent.
Bryce Harper: OF
2018 Stats (WSH):
.249 AVG, 34 HR, 100 RBI, .393 OBP, .496 SLG, .889 OPS, 1.3 WAR
Harper comes off what some would consider a down year, both for him and the Nationals, who finished third in the NL East in 2018. Despite that, the former Rookie of the Year and MVP enters his first free agency looking to get paid handsomely.
Harper’s reported starting point on a deal is ten years worth $350 million. That would put him over Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton for the most lucrative contract in sports history. That may not be the final offer, but Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, may certainly get his 26-year-old client as close to such a deal as possible.
Harper would be a fantastic addition to any team for his age alone. Having been called up to the majors at 19, whoever signs him will not have to worry about decline by age for a long time. For the Yankees, Harper would fulfill a huge offensive need; left-handed power. Imagine a lineup that consists of Aaron Judge, Stanton, Gary Sanchez, and Harper alone.
He would also be a substantial upgrade regarding hitting with RISP. In 2018, Harper hit .290/.458/.524 in those situations. In comparison, the Yankees as a team hit .253/.342/.442 in those same scenarios.
There would be questions if such a deal were to happen. The Yankees entered 2018 with an outfield that consisted of Judge, Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Clint Frazier as options. With injuries to Ellsbury, Frazier, and Judge, along with an offensively ineffective Gardner, the outfield went from a logjam to one where the Yankees started the likes of Shane Robinson and Neil Walker. Harper would most likely have to play some left field and DH as part of a DH rotation between him, Judge, Stanton, and occasionally Sanchez among others