Bryce Harper recently met with the Giants in Las Vegas and San Francisco’s president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi, says there’s mutual interest on both sides after the summit in the desert. The Giants are just the latest mystery team to be revealed in the past couple weeks, joining the Padres and you shouldn’t be surprised if another west coast team also gets involved.
We’re talking about the Angels.
So, @Matt_Enuco started to think, which can be dangerous, and he came up with a new mystery team for Bryce Harper 👀
Listen: https://t.co/z9sLDan22yhttps://t.co/B4tFPNGAE6https://t.co/a7enQCknsM pic.twitter.com/vRVaACFhli
— Pinwheels and Ivy Podcast (@PinwheelsIvyPod) February 8, 2019
But is it really that crazy of an idea? Let’s just look at their history in free agency, starting with this current offseason.
The Angels seem to always be one of the finalists for big free agents, which has been the case again this winter.
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) January 6, 2019
They’ve been in the mix and we’ve seen evidence in the past of the Angels landing big free agents. I mean, just last year they were aggressive and ultimately signed Shohei Ohtani.
Yet, that didn’t cost so much money. They got the Japanese star for the league minimum in 2018, plus a $2.3 million signing bonus and a $20 million posting fee. However, the Angels are no strangers to signing huge deals. Albert Pujols inked a 10-year, $240 million contract and the Angels signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million deal.
There’s also the Mike Trout situation. The Angels have the best player in baseball, but have only managed to make the playoffs once since in seven full seasons with Trout on the team. He’s under contract for two more seasons and everyone believes it’s a guarantee Trout will leave in free agency.
So, what if the Angels just go for it, try to sign Harper and then have a ridiculous middle of the order with Ohtani, Harper and Trout. They’ll still need to improve pitching wise, but what if the Angels actually compete and they can entice Trout to return?
Or you can look at a Harper pursuit from a different angle if you’re the Angels. If you have a good idea that Trout is leaving in two years, go for it in 2019 and 2020, and if he does sign somewhere else, then you still have a couple stars with Harper and Ohtani on the team and some space in your payroll to sign other players.
Speaking of payroll, the Angels can sign Harper to a deal averaging $35 million a year and still not go over the $206 million CBT threshold in 2019. Plus, they’ll have more contracts come off the books in the next couple years.
Maybe Matt Enuco isn’t so crazy. Keep an eye out for the Angels going after Harper.