For a while, I have refrained from saying anything bad about Bryce Harper because I knew there was a possibility he could be a Dodger. I knew the Giants would make a run at him, but I could not see the Dodgers letting him sign there. Evidently, Friedman offered 4 years/$180 million to Harper. The Dodgers pitch to Harper was to make him the highest paid player by a mile. Bryce chose $330 million from the Phillies instead (and Andrew Friedman said “whhhhheeeeeeewwwww.”)
Like any player who was offered money to play, Harper took the extra $150 million. Who can blame him? It’s real money! If you wouldn’t do the same you are an unusual human. Phillie fans have been down this same road before: Ownership gave out big contracts which acted as boat anchors later – the team did win a World Series, but they have sucked much more than they have won.
Friedman could have opted for that formula to appease fans and people likeBill Plaschke of The LA Times, who have never ran anything, but their mouths. They are ideologues! They can tell you exactly how to run your business, your life or baseball team. They know, because they can do it better than you, even though they have never built, ran or maintained a damn thing! But, Andrew Friedman knows that he will be judged by how many World Championships he wins… and he does not believe signing a player like Bryce Harper is the way to do it! Truth be told: He offered the highest AAV ever, but he hoped that Harper would decline it! He wanted to come in second.
I have been telling you all this for years and many of you understand it, but some still don’t get it… and never will. Signing Bryce Harper at age 26 for 13 years is felony stupid. For at least half of those years he will be in decline. You may say “but he can be productive until his late 30’s!” I don’t believe that. Bryce Harper is the type of player whom I believe will experience a rapid decline, when it hits that time. He whips that bat like a buggy whip and if he loses bat speed (he will – it’s just a matter of when), he will fall like a cliff-diver. It’s not like he is all that anyway. He has had a monster year, a good year and some years that weren’t so good. Based upon availability, he may have been worth $330 million, but based upon production he was not even in the discussion.
Overpaying seldom gets you anywhere – that’s true of just about everything in life! The Dumbass of The LA Times wrote:
“Dodgers whiff on Bryce Harper and a chance to solidify a franchise for a decade.“
Exactly the opposite is true. Conventional thinking is usually wrong and I am not sure that this even rises to “conventional.” “Moronic” is the word I would use. It should read:
“Dodgers win on Bryce Harper and a chance to have a boat anchor contract for a decade.”
Here’s the other 800 pound gorilla in the room: What kind of teammate is Bryce Harper? The Washington Nationals have often been picked to win it all, but could not even get out of the NLDS with Bryce Harper. The Nats could not get past the NLCS for the past six years, while the Dodgers have advanced to the World Series the past two years… without Bryce Harper.
A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to MLB.Radio and one of the Nats beat writers talked about the Nats clubhouse last year verses this year. They said that last year, the Nats clubhouse was “The quietest in baseball.” It “reminded them of a funeral” another reporter said. They contrasted that with this Spring’s Nats’ clubhouse, which is lively and enthusiastic! Is all that on Bryce Harper? Probably not, but I think he can be surly at times. If the Nats do well this year, we may have more reason to believe that.
Bryce Harper would have made the Dodgers better for four years, unless he wrecked the clubhouse… which is possible. This Band of Brothers is very close and single-minded in what they are focused upon. Harper had the chance to change that dynamic. Signing Bryce Harper was no guarantee the Dodgers will win the World Series.
Evidently, Dodgers Chairman, Mark Walter gave Kasten and Friedman the green light to go over the Luxury Tax Threshold and AF was prepared to do so – it’s just the long-term deals he is unwilling to do and frankly, I am glad he doesn’t!
The Red Sox went out and got the bat they needed to win the World Series in JD Martinez, which was a smart move at $105 Million/5 Years (he has an opt-out next year and may use it). But comparing that move to $330 Million /13 years is just plain ignorant!
Bryce Harper went for the money and has a no-trade, no-opt out clause. Bryce wanted to go to the Dodgers, but most important to Bryce was the prestige of having the biggest contract EVER. He sold out for the money… and that may tell us all we need to know.Ken Rosenthal of The Athletichas the complete details. Two sentences from that article are especially telling:
One rival executive thought it telling that the Nats allowed Harper to join a division rival, essentially without a fight.
Well, if the Nats viewed Harper as a player they did not mind losing, perhaps the Phillies should be concerned with the player they are getting.
There’s nothing to see here, folks… Move Along! This team has more than enough to win it all this year… with or without Kershaw. They have contingencies for their contingencies. I’m done!