It’s been what seems like a year since the Major League Baseball season ended and local legend Bryce Harper entered free agency. It’s been a whirlwind of rumor, whispers, tea leaves and lawn dart throwing. Despite all the madness, Harper has not signed and doesn’t seem to be close to inking a contract any time soon.
With all the uncertainty, especially with fellow free agent Manny Machado on the verge of making his decision, Harper is primed to become the prized signee of the 2018-19 MLB offseason. Where he’ll end up is anyone’s guess, but the options seem aplenty. Contract estimates have hovered around 10 years, $350-$400 million, depending on who you ask. Absurd for a Las Vegas boy who cut his teeth at Las Vegas High School under coach Sam Thomas.
Harper entered free agency on the heels of one of his worst seasons as a pro. The gifted 26-year-old hit just .249 in 2018, belting 34 home runs and driving in 100 runs. While his average was down, his on-base percentage was .393 thanks to 130 walks. While these stats aren’t eye-popping, Harper’s career stats show 2018 to be an anomaly for a player primed for the best years of his career.
With plenty of suitors, and maybe even some lurking in the shadows, here are the top five potential destinations midway through the offseason as Spring Training approaches next month.