If Bryce Harper becomes a free agent this offseason, a slew of Major League Baseball teams will be lining up for a chance to sign him.
There’s at least one MLB executive, however, who won’t sign off on his team pursuing the 25-year-old outfielder.
Harper is expected to fetch a lucrative deal in free agency, perhaps one worth at least $300 million in total value. But one anonymous National League executive recently told FRSBaseball.com’s Rob Murray that Harper isn’t worth that type of money — not by a long shot.
“Last week, I was asked whether Washington nationals superstar Bryce Harper was overrated,” Murray wrote. “I gave my answer, then I received three text messages from a top National League executive with his answer:
“Text one: ‘He’s simply overrated. The good ain’t worth the bad. He’s a losing player. Cares about himself more than the team. If I was in charge and had money, my team would not pursue him. We would use that money to sign 2-3 winning players.’
“Text two: ‘He’s a losing player. I would not sign him. I would use that money to sign 2-3 winning players.’
“Text three: ‘If he gets more than 10-years, $300 million, I’d be surprised. I would not give him 10 years period and certainly not at that AAV. He’s just not worth it. He’s a selfish, losing player.’ ”
Former MLB reliever Jonathan Papelbon probably would agree with the executive’s assessment.
Harper, however, probably would point to moments like this as examples of his value:
So, is Harper a “selfish, losing player?” Honestly, it’s impossible to know without being around the guy 24/7.
He probably is a bit overrated, however.
For all the hype, Harper rarely has looked like a player worth even $200 million, let alone $300 million (we know, no one really is worth that type of money). In six full seasons in the big leagues, Harper has managed 30-plus homers just once: A 42-homer, .330-batting average outburst that earned him the 2015 National League Most Valuable Player award.
Outside of that monstrous campaign, Harper has hit .300-plus just once (.319 last season) and, essentially, is a .270, 25-homer player. He’s brought both the good and the bad this season, as he’s hitting .228 with 19 homers through 63 games.
Still, Harper’s presence in the lineup and star-power alone probably are enough to alter a franchise, and you can bet one will fork out serious dough to bring him into the fold.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images