It’s Not All About Bryce Harper

Have you ever been to an auction where one party was “hell-bent-for-leather” to win whatever the auction target was. The guy who wants to win at all costs is not called a “winner” where I am from. He usually overpays and regrets it later. My wife has won auctions costing thousands of dollars, only to regret it later. The winner of an auction is often really “The Loser.” Winning an auction is often a “dope-fiend” move.

Do Dodger fans really want Andrew Friedman to win the Bryce Harper Auction at all costs? This fan doesn’t! At the right price, I would want Bryce Harper… but to win an auction? Let Zaidi win that boat-anchor contract. Zaidi really doesn’t want to win that auction either, but Giants ownership may force him.

Andrew Friedman will not make a dope-fiend move… that I am sure of. “But he signed Anderson, McCarthy, Olivera, Kazmir and Sierra.” … and your point is? Those were bad moves… not Dope-Fiend moves! Dope fiend moves hamstring you for years. Speaking of ham…

How much ham

could a ham chuck chuck

if a ham chuck could chuck ham?

However, I digress. The Dodgers do not need Bryce Harper, but Bryce Harper needs the Dodgers… if he wants to win. He’s not winning in SF and Friedman may very well give Farhan enough rope to hang himself. Harper doesn’t want to go to Philly or SF and the Dodgers do not want a boat anchor contract.

If the Dodgers can get Harper at a bargain, then I am all for it, but an overpay? Forget about it! The Dodgers are fine… Bryce, it’s your call! Me? I really don’t care. What will be, will be!

I have been in LA all week and it has been crazy. I did get to have dinner with 2demeter2 on Tuesday. In fact, he bought drinks and dinner for me, my son and my VP of Sales. He almost fought me when I tried to pay, but I had to give up because he is bigger than me! What a great time and thank you! Then, on Wednesday, we met up with Bobby for some tequila. That was nice too.We have some awesome people on LA DODGER TALK!

While We Wait…

  • Alex Verdugo is making a case to be on the roster and maybe the leadoff hitter.
  • Garlick does not stink.
  • Julio Urias might slide into Kershaw’s spot rather easily!
  • I continue to believe Kershaw is hurt!
  • Corey Seager is still on the path to start the season at SS. He has taken live BP and may play in minor league games next week.
  • MLB.COM rates the Dodgers farm systems #7, which is nothing short of amazing consider their winning ways the past 6 years. YIKES!
  • Brad Milleris a nice signing. To me, it means that Friedman is building some more depth in preparation for a possible trade.

This article has 132 Comments

  1. Completely agree with your comments on Harper, Mark. Sometimes the winner is the loser. At the right price/years, fine, otherwise pass.
    I had the same feeling as you when I saw the Brad Miller signing. Are we setting up for a trade? I think the most logical thought would be that we would be sending out Kike, CT3 or Muncy if that were the case. Needless to say, Miller would be a poor replacement for any of them, but they would only be sent out in a major deal so we’d have to see what we got back before deciding how happy we were with the deal. On the other hand, Miller could just be AAA filler. Boring, but maybe the most desirable option.

  2. From the Washington post:

    That brings us to Harper. His contribution in 2019 is estimated to be 3.6 fWAR which may sound low to some but consider that’s in line with his production over the past few years. Using that 2019 estimate as our starting point, Harper’s 10-year value is 26.7 fWAR over the next decade, which should carry a price tag of $239.8 million.

    Main point of the article was that Harper is no where near worth 300 million. In addition, of the teams currently in pursuit of Harper, Dodger stadium is the best for left handed power hitters (with the Giants park being the worst).

  3. No, I don’t go to auctions and I’ve never bid on anything on Ebay.

    When are you actually going to LA? Irvine, Temecula, Valencia? At least drive up to the Stadium, maybe have a meal in China Town. Go see a freaking beach and gaze out into the Pacific for God’s sake! It’s good for your soul. If you come down to Surf City, I’ll buy you and your crew a round.

    I was wondering what the hell happened this morning. After reading this I understand. Too much Tequila and you phoned it in.

    Have fun on the rest of your trip. Bummer that you chose to visit in our coldest February ever. This will be the first time in 140 years that we didn’t reach 70 degrees in February.

    How much fun are you having driving our glorious freeways? For some real fun, drive on the 405 between LA and Irvine at 4PM.

    Fun fact, if you start at midnight, you can drive from Orange County airport, to Long Beach, to LAX, to Burbank to Ontario hitting 5 airports in less than 2 hours. If you start at 4PM you can’t get from SNA to LAX.

    I hope you’re having a great trip. With a little luck, Harper will have signed with the good guys before you leave!

  4. Good time last night Mark. Great to meet the guys and thanks again for that tequila! I”ll return the favor when we meet up at the Ravine (and that offer is extended to everyone else on this board!)

    Now let’s get Bryce signed today and get things going .

    Anyone know what happened to Bobbie17?

  5. I’m tired of all the “Harper talk!” Sign him… don’t sign him, it doesn’t matter, the Dodgers are loaded. But I do find the Miller signing curious. Does this mean the Dodgers are not comfortable with CT3 at 2B? Could Muncy be their best option at 2B? If the Dodgers sign Harper, do they let Verdugo play right field and move Bellinger back to 1B? I think Bellinger is an All Star 1B, even better than Adrian Gonzales was in his prime!

      1. Thanks Mark! Corona is just the the 15Fwy from where you been… btw there’s a good place to eat in Temecula “Goat and Vine” great lunch place.

    1. Muncy will mostly play 1st.
      Verdugo will get 300-400 ABs between RF/LF and situational replacements.
      Bellinger mostly in RF where Moura thinks he could be elite.
      At 2B is won’t be a strict platoon, as both Taylor and Kike are right-handed hitters, but expect those two to split second base. I don’t think they need to fill the spot beyond that. Those two are pretty good.

  6. Another inch and a half yesterday so it is official 40 inches of show this month ranking February 2019 4th for the most snow in February since 1898,but baseball is being played. Verdugo and Garlick are looking very good at this point.

  7. Yes, the Dodgers are loaded. They should easily win the NL West and probably make it to a third World Series. Do they need Harper? Absolutely. Arenado is off the board now and who else is available in 2020 or 2021? When you look at the Dodger farm system, where is the big outfield bat? Some pretty good catchers, some infielders and a bunch of pitchers. Will there be a better bat available in trade or free agency than Harper in the next few years? The Dodgers spend something like 34 percent of their revenue on player payroll, while most teams spend around 44 percent. So what are they going to spend the money on? Every year ticket prices go up and next year the payroll drops dramatically. Does anybody believe they won’t raise prices again next year? They’ve done it five or six years in a row. Harper is fun to watch, an exciting player made for the LA market. Hey, it has been 30 years since they’ve won a World Series. Having a player with Harper’s skill set can only help. Again, with Arenado off the board and a boatload of money coming off the books in 2020, it just makes too much sense to sign Harper.

    1. funny you mention ticket prices. I purchased season tickets in 2017. Last year my same seats jumped $5 per seat (from $18 to $23 so a significant % increase). For 2019, the Dodgers asked me like back in August “if you renew now, you keep 2018 pricing. If not prices go up” Hence I agreed to renew in Aug 2018.
      But yes, if we get Bryce, you can bet prices will go up next year, and there won’t be any discounts!

      Hell, the crappy Lakers just upped my season tickets for next season by 20%!!

      1. They will increase ticket prices regardless of player payroll. You raise prices to meet demand, not to meet expenses. The guys that run the team understand this.

  8. HARPER 2018 Season WAR was 1.3 Lets assume its an aberration and we go with his avg. season WAR of 3.9

    JOC’s 2018 Season WAR was 2.3 . He will make $5M. Are you going to pay an extra $35M for 2 WAR??

    How can it make sense? The math does not add up. The team would be financially constrained and would be hobbled in its ability to make other moves as needed. Let the Giants pay him $350 for 10 yrs.

    1. Harper is odds on favorite to win the NL MVP currently with no team, trust me, he won’t hurt this team.

      1. If they sign him to appease Dodger fans and season ticket holders like Bobby that’s one thing, and may be a good business and customer relations move. He’s not worth 70 Muncy’s though, so to me it’s not a good financial decision. I predict the day after the Harper signing is announced the results of a secret MRI show Kershaw is done for the season and will have surgery. This late pursuit of Harper may be more related to the public relations nightmare of their star player going down after just being extended than Arrenado signing his big deal.

      2. We have a lot of money coming off the books after this season. If we can fit him in the budget, there’s no better move to make. Every position should be covered by current players or those in the high minors. THIS is the real reason why player development is so crucial, so that when an opportunity knocks you can answer. As an analogy, recently my wife and I paid off our 15 year loan on a modest home. We’d managed to save as well during that time and when our dream home became available we had a done deal within 3 days of seeing it. Discipline sets you up for being aggressive when it counts. I hope we feel this way about Harper.

    2. Alejandro,

      Assume none of our young guys is going to sign a multi-year extension [because so far none has]. Also assume we’ll go year-to-year with them all and maintain contractual control until they become free agents.

      What other players would you target with the money we would spend on Harper? I understand he may not be a “value” play, a la Warren Buffet, but what else would you buy with that money?

  9. I know it’s early, but MJRod nailed it and yes we are blessed with our depth…
    I too don’t care about all the Harper rumors…
    Continued success in ST and stay healthy… Booyah…

  10. Just hearing about Brad Miller signing for the first time. Great news. I’ve been worried about our IF depth, especially up the middle. While we can rattle off names to back up OF spots, IF is harder to do. I expect we’ll see him suited up in blue at some point this season. If not, good depth to have.

  11. Chris Camello of rebel sports tweeted that his sources have told him that the Dodgers have offered 10 years to Harper. Camello broke JT and Kenley’s signing 24 hrs before the talking heads.

    1. Hawkeye

      I went to Camellos twitter, and if you push Dodgers on his top post there, it goes to Steve Mason, who is a sports reporter in LA, and he has a picture of Harper as a Dodger, and a line up with Harper too.

      I remember when he made the call on Turner and Kenley, when Kenley just got married.

  12. I totally agree with Mark, if we can get Harper for the deal Friedman wants, he will help this team win.

    But this is all on Harper, not the Dodgers.

    After your making that much money, I would think you would go where you think you would be the most happiest to play.

    Harper makes a lot of money off promotions alone, and he could make even more money in LA.

    The Giants will soon have to start rebuilding, and Harper’s offensive numbers, will be somewhat diminished, in that big park in SF.

    And it is obvious that Harper doesn’t want to go to the Phillies or he would already be at the Phillies spring training facility.

    We will be ok either way, but the Giants certainly won’t, because either way, they are not going anywhere.

  13. I’m looking forward to my annual trip north to AT&T park. Hope to watch Harper while there. Doubt he’ll be as much fun to watch as Hunter was.

  14. Minor aggravation: I wish Verdugo would lose those red sliding gloves and put on some Dodger Blue ones.

  15. Zach Willeman is ranked #20 in the Baseball America handbook. That’s a surprisingly aggressive ranking. Must be that fastball.

    Also, starting to feel Cartaya could be top ten easy by the end of the year. One of the highest upside guys we have, although very young.

    And Urias . . . trying to stay calm but he could be the story of the whole season if healthy.

      1. He’s supposed to be really advanced. Curious how the prospect experts here [AC/DC] view their similarities and differences. Obviously, K-bear is older, more advanced, and more polished; how how do their tools compare? My guess would be K-bear has a better hit tool and Cartaya might be a bit more athletic.

        1. RD – I am far from an expert but right now for me Cartaya is an unknown regardless of his scouting report. He undoubtedly is a prime prospect but Keibert has demonstrated his tools at the AA level. I think for an accurate comparison we have to see the results at a comparable level.

          I think you are correct that Cartaya is the more athletic of the two. It seems he might have the stronger arm. I believe we have to see him in action to see if his tools play out as well as Keibert’s. That is, if he is ready for AAA beginning his fifth year. I especially like Keibert’s bat to ball skills as I hate strikeouts. I am hoping Cartaya comes stateside for the 2019 season so we can get a more close up glimpse. Keibert did not get to the AZL until part way through his second season.

          I think Keibert was more of an unknown when he was signed. Cartaya was acknowledged as a top prospect and as a result drew a bigger pay day. I also think Travis Barbary was a key to the signing of Keibert.

          Barbary first saw Ruiz in the Dominican Summer League in 2015. Ruiz was 15, but Barbary immediately believed he had a chance to rocket through the Dodgers’ farm system. He was signed on his 16th birthday which may have meant other teams had not entered a competition for him.

  16. And in other exciting news. Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to throw a baseball today to see if his arm remains attached at the shoulder.

    1. Well, here’s the question: IF we were willing to shell out that dough [it’s unclear whether we were serious or just driving up the price], does that mean we have some mad money to spend now? Who’s still out there we could add?

      Consolation prize time.

      1. It would likely be a dope-fiend move to add anyone now. The trade deadline is the next big chance.

        Now, can we all just shut up about Harper?

        1. Dope fiend is trading prospects for players at the deadline. At least with free agency it’s just money.

    1. 59

      I hate this for you, because they tugged at your heart once again, but I know you already know this is a terrible deal.

      Now you can hate on his eye black again!

      1. Hahahaha you said it !! Horrible contract! I love my dodgers and have total faith in them! WE ARE GOING TO WIN IT!!

  17. I for one am relieved he went elsewhere. I warned all of you about Harper the man not the player. Boras played us to get higher offers, maybe he returns a favor when it’s time to extend Cory, Cody and Urias…..Nahh!

    1. Those extra 3 years on top of the 10 years, is really a bad idea.

      Because 9 of those years, Harper will be age 30 though 39.

      That takes away from the fact that Harper is only 26 now.

      And because of all of that, this is not that much different from the Pujols deal, although Pujols was a little older.

      1. MJ quik ?, and my comment too lol, but I have a weird feeling the dodgers are going after trout HARD next year!! Any thoughts?

        1. JoeFrancis777

          I know Trout is a die hard Phillies fan, but can the Phillies afford both players?

          As you know, Trout is a much better player, but that is a good question.

      2. The extra 3 years brought down the AAV. Bobby Bonilla will still have 4 payments left when Harper’s contract ends.

  18. To channel my inner Mark T. -“this is a dope fiend move!!!”

    For BH it’s good. His statistics should take a bump up in Philadelphia. Balls fly out of that yard.

  19. Now that is indeed a dope fiend move by the Phillies. I was hoping the FO would sign him but only with a larger AAV short term deal. Borasss played the west coast bent to his advantage and got the Phillies to extend the total number of years.

    Bryce would have looked good in Dodger blue but now it’s time to focus on the guys we got and I’m hoping for a big Verdugo year.

    1. For Harper and Boras it was all about ego and beating Stanton’s 13 year albatross by $5M. Enjoy your Philly cheese steak while you can Bryce because those fans don’t play when you start slumping or the team misses the playoffs. The Phils got desperate and panicked and outbid themselves. Manny and Arrenado are both worth more than Harper and the AAV reflects that. I would lay big money he won’t be in Philly for 13 years.

  20. They lost Realmuto to the phillies because tight with prospects. They lost Harper to phillies tight with money. Lost Stanton to Yankees. Lost chapman to cubs. List goes on and on. They do realize they will have to beat the phillies to get to the world series. So they cant Nolan anymore. Kershaw is hurt again. Dodgers ownership sucks with Tv deal and getting the Dodgers over the hump. But we signed a guy to a minor league contract today. Lost Greinke to the snakes too. I know everyone will have excuses. Tiresome to lose players.

    1. They did not “lose” these players. They didn’t “lose” Harper to the Phillies. They were out bid. It happens. They did not “lose” Stanton to the Yankees. They were out bid, or the Marlins liked the Yankees’ trade proposal better than the Dodgers. It happens. They didn’t “lose Grienke to the Diamondbacks. They were out bid. It happens. Seriously, would you really want that boat anchor contract now? They didn’t “lose” Realmuto to the Phillies. They were out bid. It happens. Would you really trade Bellinger for Realmuto? Being fiscally responsible, does not make you a loser. Folks, we have been to the WS 2 years in a row. That counts for something.

      Mark – it was nice to meet up with you, Steven and Gerard. I had a great time. I may be slightly bigger than you, but you could have taken me down with your pinky. I’m the same height and weight as Dante Fowler of the Rams, and you know what, my body looks nothing at all like his!

    2. I get frustrated with us not going after some of the big free agents too but sometimes it’s not worth the cost. That deal Harper just received from Philly is going to be train wreck by year 6.

      We didn’t lose Chapman to the Cubs. We backed out of the agreement after a domestic dispute with his wife and decided to use his garage as a shooting range. Then he signed with the Yankees.

      1. Ken Rosenthal and John Heyman are still saying, there are no opt outs!

        They both said Harper didn’t care about opt outs.

        Vegas you really seem to know Harper’s number.

        1. He hasn’t gotten his first big contract until now but he has not made much of an impact in the local community. Nothing like Andre Agassi for instance and the Maddox brothers. His ego is pretty legendary as well around these parts.

  21. How do you not ask for opt outs in a 13 year contract, especially with a 13 year contract in Philadelphia where the fans can turn on you at a moment’s notice. Supposedly the contract is front loaded so he gets more money in the earlier years which is another reason to demand one or more opt outs (after you’ve gotten the big years paid to you). As far as the 13 year length is concerned, that was just Boras doing the Phils a favor. He told them they needed to beat the $325 mil Stanton contract so they asked for the extra 3 years to reduce the AAV. That helps the Phils much more than it does Harper.

  22. Well that was fun! Congratulations to Bryce Harper and that big fat contract. I’m surprised that he took way less AAV than Nolan and Manny for extra years. I think that works in the Phillies favor with less of a CBT CAP hit. Like Albert, those years on the back end will be excruciating. Unlike Albert, at least they will get some productive years out of it.

    From a fan’s perspective, it would be great to get a difference make of Harper’s caliber. But, as fans, we don’t always know what’s best. Time will tell how this works out. It looked like he wanted to be a Dodger, but money got in the way and he had to make a decision between money, winning, and location. It looks like we have an idea about what’s most important to him.

    I gave up hope with the Phillies rumors about two weeks ago and got sucked back in with “the visit” in the beginning of the week. Now, the team looks settled again. Joc / Alex and the empty promises of less platoons. Pitching looked great until Kershaw broke yet again. The Padres and Rockies have larger payroll, but still not enough to seriously threaten us. The AL powerhouses Astros and Red Sox look a little weaker and the Yankees look a bit stronger. The Nats are very good, The Mets might surprise, The Braves and Cardinals improved on paper, but could take a step back. The Brewers are pretenders. The Phillies are still gonna suck.

    Ready for another Yankees v Dodgers World Series? I know I am.

    Kershaw reported feeling better after today’s 5 minutes of catch. So, there’s something positive.

  23. I’ll re-visit today’s signing tomorrow. I just arrived at John Wayne to fly home with a prior stop and In n Out Burger.

    James talks about losing players – We did not lose Harper. Fans may have lost Harper, but like Greinke, Manny, Chapman and others, the Dodgers did not “lose” them. They chose not to pay what they wanted. That’s not a loss – it’s a gain.

    After 4 years of AF, some of you still do not get it. The only correlation between signing free agents to long term huge contracts is a correlation to being mediocre! Watch and learn…. after 4 years you should have already figured it out… but… there’s still hope.

      1. I’ll retract this as 5y/$110m, although twice what we paid Pollock, is not in the same stratosphere as today’s big deal.

  24. No doubt that the Dodgers help bid up the price for Harper, forcing the Phillies owner to spend “stupid money” to get him. Taking a player out to his age 38 season is not advisable. No doubt, the amount of money spent in the later years of the contract will not seem as much then as it does now, but still it will be a significant amount in any case.

    Boras reportedly said that Harper had an offer(s) for a shorter term worth a $45 million AAV. If so, and the Dodgers made such an offer, then it is reasonable to speculate that should an opportunity present itself during the coming season, the Dodgers will likely have the financial flexibility to take advantage.

  25. My sons are 15….They will be 28 at end of Harper’s contract….I was a little upset that we did not “win” the auction but I am not sure 13/330 Mil is winning. At least he is not a Giant.

  26. Are we going to be in on trout? Absolutely!! We will meet with his agent, we will talk about what a generational player he is, we will then offer 5 years at 20 million. If he doesn’t accept that dope fiend money then we will sign Jose Martinez right out from under the Cards! Maybe not he is not a free agent for another year so we might have to settle for a harder working puig! While we are at it if kershaw has tommy john we might extend him for another 3 years. Seriously, why are the players whining with this contract, machado, Corbin, kershaw, plenty of money has been spent on free agents. It was exciting but I am just glad Arenado went ahead and signed so we don’t have to follow the free agency. No, we will not be in on trout or any other long term free agent unless they are named seager or bellinger.

  27. Looks like we have a new leadoff hitter

    Pollock isn’t perfect in that role but I like having someone who isn’t platooned

  28. I totally get and understand if the F.O. doesn’t think there is value is signing players to long free agent contracts. Certainly, Friedman & Co. have put together an extremely talented roster without compromising their principles.

    I also think the best way to build a strong organization is through drafting, international signings, and player development. Philosophically, I’d much rather have a team of [mostly] homegrown players than a constantly rotating group of mercenaries plugged in to fill roster spots.

    That said, there are times when you need to take a moon shot, to use the expression often ascribed to Elon Musk [someone once called him a “walking moonshot” due to his willingness to aim high]. I don’t think we quite did it with Yu Darvish; we pretty much did with Machado; and we certainly didn’t with Kershaw [post opt-out].

    I believe we will continue to go year-to-year with our arb.-eligible players to help keep the team AAV down. I guess at some point we may be faced with the choice of whether to give a large contract to Seager/Bellinger/Buehler. When that time comes, we will have no advantage over other teams other than familiarity and a small window when only we can make an offer.

    I trust that we know what we’re looking for in a player and we know what price we’re willing to spend. Obviously this process was played out this off-season and I’m sure Friedman & Co. are satisfied with the outcome.

    As fans though, I think we collectively might be feeling a bit sold short. After two near-misses on a championship, the road just gets harder from here. There are no points given for getting close. We have the same hill to climb and now have to compete with a whole new set of competitors, some with more money to spend and some with even deeper farm systems.

    All the pressure right now is on the players on the field, which is as it should be. I expect this team to be very good and come out of the gates very sharp. Roberts knows from last year you can’t just “activate” and make the playoffs. That honor will have to be earned.

    Today is not a setback nor is it a wake-up call. It’s nothing more than a vote of confidence in the guys we have and the guys we have coming up behind them. All our solutions are currently in-house.

  29. This sums up everything. A lot of fans dont care about being hamstrung by a contract. We want a title.

    The 13-year length of Harper’s contract is insane. The $330-million value is crazy.
    You know what’s also insane? The Dodgers collecting more than $8 billion on a television contract that essentially keeps the games out of the homes of the majority of Angelenos.
    You know what’s also crazy? The Dodgers generally raising prices even though the team continually falls short of raising a championship flag. This year, for example, advance parking rates have increased from $15 to $17, with day-of-game parking still at $25.
    You know how much general parking costs at an Angels game in Anaheim? Ten bucks.
    According to Team Marketing Report, the cost of taking a family of four to a Dodgers game has jumped 31% since the first full year of Guggenheim’s ownership in 2013. That’s an increase of one-third with a championship payoff of zero.
    The Dodgers blinked, and now you have to blink and realize the truth.
    While Andrew Friedman and his crew have admirably built six consecutive West Division champions and two consecutive World Series teams, an organization with buckets of chips will not push them all in for a shot at one big pot.
    In his five years here, Friedman has never spent more than $60 million for a free agent from outside the organization. Even when he has paid big money to retain the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, he’s never paid out more than $91 million. Those are outrageous sums, of course, but in the high-priced world of baseball’s top free agents, that just doesn’t play.

    Make no mistake, the Dodgers’ method of building from within and making a big splash at the trade deadline — Manny Machado, Yu Darvish, Rich Hill — has worked. They are always playing in October. Once there, they always have legitimate title aspirations. They generally fight to the finish line. Two seasons ago they finished one win short. Last year, three wins short. It’s indeed tough to blame the lack of a big-time free agent for Darvish’s meltdown, Cody Bellinger’s swing or Hill’s departure in the seventh inning.
    It’s worked, but it’s not worked well enough, and it’s tough to think they’re not doing everything they can to win that last series, that last game, that final pitch. In a star-driven town where the most popular franchise brings in LeBron James and actually celebrates the chance to spend more big money, it’s hard to swallow the notion that the Dodgers would forsake a chance at even one more win to watch their wallet.
    One of baseball’s richest franchises pursuing a willing recruit like Harper and then losing him strictly over his salary demands just doesn’t equate. Harper almost certainly won’t be worth $330 million. He certainly wouldn’t have hurt, though, and it certainly would have been worth it to frustrated Dodger fans to find out.
    The word is that the Dodgers might have gone as high as five years and $225 million for Harper. The guess here is that he would have taken less money to come to Los Angeles, considering it easily was his first choice. Couldn’t there have been a compromise in there somewhere?
    Now Harper takes his talents to a place where some media and fans mercilessly ripped him earlier this week when it appeared they had lost him to the Dodgers. One talk show host tweeted that Harper “can go to hell.’’ A talk show caller said he wanted to spit on him.
    Dodgers fans would have loved him, but the Dodgers won’t pay for him, so now they will prepare for the 2019 season without him, another solid team playing in a lousy division, probable West champions again, but beyond that?
    There’s little buzz. There’s dwindling patience. A.J. Pollock is their big free-agent acquisition, but can the injury-prone outfielder stay on the field? Friedman probably will do something big again at midseason and make it work. But will it work well enough?
    If it doesn’t work again, well, next winter they can always spend big on Colorado’s Nolan Arenado … nah, he just re-signed there. OK, then they can spend big on … ah, forget it.
    Once again, when it comes to bringing a star to Hollywood, the Dodgers are more about raising prices than raising hopes.

  30. Great effort PalmDale…
    Now we get to business with the kids and vets we got… Sweet
    Arty Moreno will sign Mike… It will mean more billboards for him..

  31. AF was willing to pay Harper as much as he thought Harper was worth. The bottomline is AF thought Harper was worth less to the Dodgers than the the Phillies thought he was worth to them.
    Bryce Harper thought what the Phillies had to offer was worth more to him then what the Dodgers were offering.
    Pretty much the way it goes.

  32. I’m giving Brad Miller a legit shot to make the team. Depending on a lot of things (who plays 2b, does Verdugo make the roster, is Seager healthy, do we carry 13 pitchers), he could very well be Freese’s counterpart as an IF bench piece. Taylor and Kikė are both great but they might be starting a lot. Miller could fit as a LH bat and additional utility player. Eager to see him.

  33. Being reported by Morosi that the Dodgers offered Harper a 4-year deal for $180 million, a $45 million AAV. So really, it’s not so much money, as it is the Dodgers’ unwillingness to do long term deals.

  34. I can’t believe some guys are actually bummed we didn’t get Harper. At the price the Phillies paid? Are you friggin’ kidding me?!?! Going to insert Marks go to phrase “DOPE FIEND MOVE!!!”. Phillies talked about spending “stupid” money, and that’s what they did. How in the HELL did Borass get 13 years out of them? When all the smoke has cleared and the rose colored glasses have worn out, you have overpaid for a good hitter not named Trout or Arenado and a very marginal defender who would be best served in left field. Like my son said today,”Harper makes playing right field look hard”. Mark my words, just like the D-Bags and Greinke, in about 4 years you will hear the Phillies front office bitching about limited financial flexibility because of Harpers contract, asking for someone to take the boat anchor off their chests. And if I hear the phrase “Generational talent” one more time about this guy, I’m gonna hurl. If Brooklyn Dodger is correct in quoting Morosi, I can sleep at night. Notice that we only offered 4 years? That’s because right around that time the contract starts going south (See Pujols and Greinke, and probably A-Rod with the Yankees). This shows me that all the Freidman bashers need to step back, he didn’t go “cheap”, he just didn’t want to screw his team for the next 10 years. I was kind of hoping the Giants would take the bait, but it looks like Farhan did the same thing Freidman did and walked away from the boat anchor. Totally at peace with this.

    1. Harper sealed his fate of misery by signing that deal. Think about 13 years in Philly with no way out other than a trade. In this case all teams made the right decision. The Phils are the new Yankees of the National League willing to throw away money left and right. How can they expect to sign Mike Trout now or any other big name. 13 years in Philadelphia on the East Coast is a nightmare.

    1. The Phillies offer was $150MM more guaranteed with no deferrals. In 4 years at 30, Harper would then have to sign a contract for 9 years at $150MM to equal the Phillies offer. That is an average of $16.67MM per year for 9 years. Possible sure, but highly unlikely. He took the GUARANTEED additional $150MM.

      The Giants have to be very grateful that the Phillies went to 13 years. It may be a dope fiend contract for Philadelphia but it would have been an idiotic dope fiend contract for SFG. Larry Baer is a very lucky CEO today. If I was a Giants fan, I would be screaming to let Zaidi run the baseball part of the organization. That is why they hired him. That was a Baer contract…not Zaidi. Not signing Harper saved them about 4 years on their long recovery as it appears to be.

  35. Harper took the Greinke route and chose the money. That is about 150 mil more than the Dodgers offered if true. Let’s say he had taken the Dodgers offer and at the age of thirty become a free agent again. He would have 9 years to make the 150 million more that the Phillies offered. That would have certainly been risky for him so he chose to go to a team it seems he really didn’t want to play for. I don’t know what I would have done but I can’t fault him for his decision. The Phillies have improved their team tremendously so far with Kimbrel still out there. For his sake I hope he performs or he will be treated roughly in philly. He should be in a position to win with the Phillies. As for the Dodgers, well they saved money and probably didn’t expect Harper to take their offer anyway. It was well documented that he was not going to take a short term deal. So why did the Dodgers bother? AF said they are always trying to improve so apparently he felt the Dodgers would be better with him than without. I happen to agree. So we are going to have to figure out how to win without the best players because we are not going to make any dope fiend moves. We have some very good players and sustained success but we havent done as much to improve as the Phillies, cards, and nationalsto name a few.. We have improved by eliminating attitude, adding Kelly, on paper a rh hitting pollock, re-signing ryu, getting urias healthy, 2nd year of buehler, a healthy seager a top 5 player, and I could go on. However, I think the biggest improvement will be not having a World Series hangover. We did last year. Roberts decided to slow walk and rest on the laurels of the year before, a turner injury, Jansen not ready, unsteady bullpen, loss of seager, and we were hanging on for dear life. But, this year I think we are recovering from an embarrassing World Series, have some new blood, more healthy, a year of experience in the bp, a better attitude, we have a few comeback players, and will get off to a better start with a little more feel of urgency and not complacency. The Dodgers could roll this year.

    1. I agree with Theralten, alot of things he mentioned about last year didn’t go right, yet we still made the World Series again. Watching the spring interviews on SportsNet, alot of guys are talking about an edge this year to everybody. Saw the interview with AJ Pollock after the game today, and he remarked about how many stud arms we have and how intense the starters in the rotation are. He said that most teams don’t have that. I truly believe us fans are spoiled by the success the last 5 or 6 years. Here comes a guy for one of our divisional rivals and for two interviews in a row mentions how the intensity and expectations in the clubhouse are different than what he has seen over the years. Can you imagine a full year with a healthy Turner, Seager, and Pollock? Gonna hop on the Theralten train, we are gonna roll this year. As a side note, don’t count Joc out. I think he is a late bloomer, he wiil benefit from a new hitting coach and start going the other way. Plus, he doesn’t shrink under the post season lights.

    2. Ten:

      Yeah, they could. And, yeah, they may not. Still have no particular
      feel for this team, unlike the last two years.

      And I couldn’t disagree more with James, way above, about the Ds chances for a championship
      last year. They had no shot at beating the Sox, and saying they came within three
      games just cements that notion.
      Additionally, James, AF and company SHARE the credit for the six division titles
      with the cash-strapped FO that came before them (at least relatively cash-strapped).
      And they get NO credit for the first two….
      Wake me when the billion-dollar bandits actually have one of their draftees playing
      a key role every day for this team.

  36. It’s only money but the following players make the ML minimum of $555K this year:
    There’s more young players on the way too so the team had room and was willing to throw big $$ at Harper. $45M per year is 9 times all those players combined. I am glad he turned it down but surprised it was even offered.

  37. Mark
    your article is really quite good. I don’t understand the “ham” analogy though.
    My question is not about Harper, it is about Matt Beaty who always seems to rack it up in spring training and have a nice season in the minors, and also is highly rated, but still doesn’t get a lot of buzz. Is there much talk going on about him possibly breaking the squad?

    1. Matt Beaty is not going to be in LA when they break camp. He can hit, and has hit everywhere he has played. But he has no position. He is listed as a corner infielder with no power. He and Edwin Rios will switch back and forth at 3B and 1B at OKC. Neither one is good enough to replace JT or David Freese or Max Muncy. So if they are going to make LA before a September callup (both on 40 man), someone is going to go on the IL (entirely plausible). Both are good depth and would be natural promotions if someone does get injured. Actually both players benefit with Toles currently not with the team, because they would/should be the first called.

      This is not a slam on Beaty or Rios. I like both players (especially Beaty) very much. I am just being realistic with where they are on the depth chart.

    1. I did hear that Blanca did pass away from a heart attack this AM, but I did not hear that Jaime had a heart attack. Blanca and Jaime were married for 65 years. A remarkable family, and I will absolutely pray for the family. Blanca Jarrin — RIP.

  38. How different our discussions would be today if it were the Dodgers who had offered Harper the contract the Phillies did…and he had accepted. So glad he is now their headache for the next 13 years.

  39. 12 position players:


    With 13 pitchers, Verdugo could be on the outside looking in. Seager’s health is the X-factor.

      1. No I agree that Verdugo has to make the team this year. He is too good not to get his shot

  40. Verdugo’s job to lose. If he doesn’t produce some offense consistently this ST, I can only think the platoon will be back. Verdugo looked comfortable in RF last season. His arm is good and he’s got some speed. For me, it would be choice of Verdugo or Pollock as the leadoff batter. 2B seems like another platoon season but I’m hoping they give the chance to Kike. I’m not going to be pissed if we see some platooning again. If guys can’t hit LHP, I will know that we still have a ways to go to either acquire balanced talent or promote the talent from the farm. Lux looks pretty good to make 2B. Can our new hitting coaches get players like Joc to hit LHP? Is it really that hard to teach?

  41. The Harper contract was said to be front loaded.

    If the Phillies matched the Dodgers offer for the first 4 years at $45M that’s $180M.

    If the second 4 years is at $30M that’s $120M.

    If the last 5 years are at $6M that’s $30M.

    The AAV is $25.4M. And who knows what the CBT will be then.

    Is that all that crazy?

    1. Harper receives a $20 million signing bonus and a $10 million salary for this season. He will be paid $26 million annually from 2020 to 2028 and $22 million per season from 2029 to 2031, Passan reports.

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