Not only should the New York Mets sign Bryce Harper, they can.
Recently, Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner made it pretty clear that Bryce Harper will not be re-signing with the team. Additionally, rumors are swirling that Harper is not sold on the Philadelphia Phillies, one of his biggest suitors this offseason. This is all good news for the New York Mets.
Thus far, the Mets have claimed the title for blockbuster trade in the offseason. Newly hired General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen has proven that he is here to do what it takes to win a championship now. The Mets must fill a few pieces in order to complete the puzzle, one of which is to add a power hitter.
At the end of October, it was reported that Harper is seeking a 10-year, $350 million deal. Many mega-contracts have proven to be mistakes and clubs are becoming hesitant to offer them, and understandably so.
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The fact that we are a week into December and Harper, whom many consider the second-best baseball player on the planet after Mike Trout, has not been signed serves as near confirmation that he will not be offered the deal he hopes for from clubs other than the Nationals.
It is time for the Mets to make their move.
Harper made his MLB debut in 2012 at the age of 19 and has taken the world by storm since. He is coming off a career bad 2018 where he slashed just .249/.349/.496 and struck out 169 times, but he still managed to rack up 34 home runs, 100 RBIs, and MLB-high 130 walks.
Anyway, one bad season cannot take away from the remarkableness that is Bryce Harper. In his seven years in the majors, Harper has garnered 184 home runs, 521 RBIs, slashed .279/.388/.512 and has an OPS of .900.
He boasts an NL Rookie of the Year award as well as an NL MVP award, which he won in his age 22 season. He also has a career WAR of 27.4. To add icing on the cake, Harper is a six-time All-Star and led the NL in OBP, OPS, and WAR in 2015.
By signing Harper, the Mets will be looking to make a deep postseason run. Yes, Harper’s postseason numbers are not particularly impressive: in five postseason appearances, he has slashed .211/.315/.487.
However, this could well be due to the effects of the renowned curse of the Nationals in the playoffs. No one would be surprised to see him perform exceptionally well in the postseason with a different team.
Now that Jay Bruce is gone, the Mets can make some room for Harper in the outfield, especially since Yoenis Cespedes is going to miss a significant portion of the 2019 season and Juan Lagares remains a risk.
After acquiring Cano and Edwin Diaz from the Seattle Mariners, there is speculation that ownership has given van Wagenen about $150 million to work with, which basically takes the Mets out of the Harper conversation.
Additionally, the Mets have indicated that they cannot add Bryce Harper/Manny Machado salaries. However, if ownership really wanted to, they could undoubtedly sign Harper. T
The Mets have very few salary commitments as of 2021 and could definitely afford Harper in the long run.
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Attendance at Mets’ games has been declining dramatically and signing Harper would help those numbers climb. Any team would be lucky to have a once in a generation player such as Harper, and he is a great piece to work and build around.