The Bryce Harper sweepstakes officially are underway.
And, unsurprisingly, the New York Yankees reportedly are among the teams interested in the free agent slugger.
The Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox are “among “upward of a dozen teams” that have gone to or plan to go to Las Vegas to meet with Harper, Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown and Jeff Passan reported Tuesday, citing sources. The Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres and the Washington Nationals also are expected to be involved.
But let’s focus on the Yankees.
“The Yankees are a wild card, or as much as a team with the highest revenues in the game can be a wild card for a player who may receive the largest contract in American sports history,” Passan Brown wrote. “Harper grew up a Yankees fan, always dreaming of playing in pinstripes, and no matter their ultimate interest, meeting with him was, at very least, an exercise in due diligence for a New York team playing extra coy with Harper’s actual appeal.”
Where Harper ultimately signs will be the biggest storyline of the Major League Baseball offseason. The 26-year-old likely will fetch a contract north of $300 million, and some believe he could make as much as $400 million.
The question, of course, is whether he’s worth it.
There’s no denying Harper’s talents. At his best, he’s one of the game’s premier sluggers, and also is a bonafide superstar, who automatically would become the face of a franchise.
However, Harper only has eclipsed 30 homers twice in his seven seasons and is just a good — but not great — .279 career hitter. He’s not especially fast, and really is an average outfielder.
If you ask us, those qualities aren’t worth nearly half a billion dollars.