San Diego Padres and Bryce Harper Still Flirting With Each Other?

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There are several reports that the San Diego Padres and Bryce Harper are still flirting with each other as the outfielder finally makes a decision for his future. Can the San Diego Padres pull off another miracle and sign the 26-year old free agent?

Friday, February 22 was officially named “Machado Day” in San Diego as the Padres formally announce their new investment.

$300 million is a lot to hand out to one player, but Machado is 26 and arguably a future hall-of-famer.

With this addition, the Padres immediately turned themselves into a relevant team in the game of baseball. The national media is buzzing about the team and their commitment to getting better. Handing out the richest free agent contract in the history of North American sports was mind-blowing for a franchise that is highly regarded as a small market team. The Padres are making noise, but are they done?

Just as the Machado press conference ended, multiple reports (sources I have collected) began to surface that the team was going to internally discuss the possibility of adding Bryce Harper in 2019. Reportedly, ownership met to see if this idea was feasible. During the press conference and after on the radio, not one member of the front office denied Harper rumors, nor did they answer any direct questions about him. Jon Heyman later confirmed the Padres interest of Harper while appearing on MLB Network.

The outfielder is all but set to sign in Philadelphia (multiple credible reports indicate that), but yet he has not. Spring training has started and he is surely getting antsy to get going with a new team. It is clear that Harper wants to play out west and closer to his Las Vegas home. We also know that Scott Boras is a savvy negotiator and this could all be an effort to get more money out of the Philadelphia Phillies.

As the weekend starts, there could be more grumblings from San Diego as the Padres look to rock the baseball world. Signing both prized free agents would surely blow the minds of many in the national media. In order for this to happen, the Padres would need to get very creative with their roster. They already have five viable starting outfielders in Wil Myers, Franmil Reyes, Manuel Margot, Franchy Cordero, and Hunter Renfroe. Adding Harper would surely mean trades although each outfielder, except for Myers, has minor league options remaining. It may be too early to even discuss this thought process but, just as you count the Padres out, they seem to always do something big.

11 thoughts on “San Diego Padres and Bryce Harper Still Flirting With Each Other?

  1. I can’t imagine tying up another 30+M per year when his offense wasn’t better than the Franimals in 2018. Machado fits on both sides of the ball in a position of need. But even he may be a year early. A Harper signing would be heady stuff for sure, but not the view of bringing along the kids until we are ready for our version of a Verlander type addition.

    1. Harper’s OPS was 51 points higher than Reyes, .889 to .838. That is a substantial difference. Reyes looked good, but he isn’t even in Harper’s league. Plus Reyes cannot field whatsoever.

  2. I’d rather see them bring in Dallas Keuchel over Harper… we need pitching and one of the best ground ball pitchers in the game with our new shut down infield could equate to a solid number of W’s while providing the veteran pitching presence that we need. …wouldn’t complain about Harper, but I think pitching is the bigger need now that we have 3B locked down.

  3. Hell yes, sign Harper. One thing true of the Preller era has been the willingness to make big moves, even if sometimes those moves don’t work out. So they should keep the pedal down and:
    1) sign Harper. The expectation would be for these two big signings to significantly drive attendance and somewhat offset the massive investment. Plus he’s good. This is, like with Machado, exactly the type of player that a team cannot count on producing, no matter how good the farm system.
    2) trade Myers. If we must have an overpaid player let him be a pitcher, which we need, and not an OF of which we have plenty. Among the possibilities are Greinke, Samardzija, Cueto, Leake or one of the Cleveland starters.
    3) trade Renfroe. A .302 OBP hitter, meh. Maybe we can get an arm in return.
    Key to rebuilds is not to let so-what players block more exciting talent. Moving Myers (28) and Renfroe (27) and keeping Reyes (23), who’s already surpassed them as a hitter, and Cordero (24) , who’s about to, makes the most sense.
    CF Margot/Jankowski
    RF Harper
    3B Machado
    LF Reyes
    1B Hosmer
    C Hedges/Mejia
    SS Tatis
    2B Urias

    1. I like Reyes as a bat, but watching him in the outfield (right) is very painful, it will be even worse with him in left. Every game there is a fly ball that should be caught bounce in front of him because he does not have the legs to get to it. Playing him in leaves a gapping hole over his head again for the same reason. I great offense is of little use unless the defense holds the lead. I would take my chances on Myers (let’s face it, with his contract and injury history we will get nothing of value in the form of a pitcher for him). With Frenchy in the wings and steadily improving once Myers gets injured again, we have a suitable if not better replacement.

      1. I agree with most of your thoughts. I’m fine with keeping Myers, although will ownership be after adding Harper? In any case, 2 of Myers, Reyes, Renfroe should be traded if the club does sign Harper.

  4. Nice article James. I was reading the other day, that Harper/Boras have said to the Padres, “if you are willing to match the Phillies offer, I/we will choose the Padres”. Even with Harper at 10 years $330M, (which is what I read was the Phillies offer) the Padres still wouldn’t be close to any luxury tax payments. Plus the amount of extra revenue that signing both of these players would bring, would offset the investment to a good degree.

    And while I do agree that the Padres need to add pitching, the lineup Green could jot down every day would score quite a few runs, taking a lot of pressure off the pitching staff. Lucchesi and Lauer pitched well last year and with Richards coming back next year, the Pads should have 3 spots in the rotation spoken for. At that point, if Preller and Co. have drafted, signed and traded for the right guys, you could easily see 2 of Paddack, Allen, Quantrill, or Strahm filling out the rotation for a year or two before the next wave of Gore, Morejon, Patino, Weathers or Baez are pushing for a rotation spot. I do realize that all of the Padres prospects aren’t going to work out, but with the amount of high end guys the Padres have collected, even if 2 pitchers from the above I mentioned fill there potential, the Padres rotation will be fine when they enter their window of contention, which is still 2020/2021.

  5. Just think if they had not thrown away OVER $40 MILLION PER YEAR…literally wasted…They cannot trade, or even give away Myers, at least without paying the other team millions of dollars to play against the Padres, and Hosmer is below average and is taking up the easiest position to fill, while also displacing Myers, or any other qualified person from 1B, or the OF. At the time they were signed/extended it was embarrassingly bad, now it continues to plague them.
    If they can pull of Harper then more power to them.

  6. Streaky as he may be, I’d be OK with the Padres going in on Harper for one reason and one reason only: marketing. Baseball, as great as the sport is, has few household names that even non-fans are vaguely aware of. Harper is on that list — or close to it. Living in the DC region the last six years after living 30 years in San Diego (*sob), I’ve seen first hand how much fans LOVE Harper. Just watching his intensity and swagger reminded me of prime Ken Caminiti; years that still stand as the greatest memories for any Padre fan age 30 or older. Granted this is all a pipe dream. Signing Harper would all but kill any chance to sign meaningful pitching free agents next year, and we have too many outfielders as it is. Still, it is nice to day dream…

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