It’ll likely be a hot minute or two before we find out where prized free agent Bryce Harper will play next year, but certain MLB analysts don’t think it’ll be St. Louis.
This doesn’t mean the Birds won’t make a run at Harper, but baseball scribes joining 101 ESPN this week see the outfielder and his impressive hair landing elsewhere with Philadelphia being a particular favorite, and (you may want to grab a paper bag to breathe into) the Cubs also getting a mention from ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian.
Time will tell as always and predicting MLB free agency is about as easy as certain political races, but the fact the Phillies continue getting mentions in regards to Harper and Machado, and the fact they’re flush with cash, makes them major players.
“I think the Phillies are going to get one of those two guys,” Kurkjian recently told ‘The Bernie Miklasz Show.’ “The Phillies have a tremendous amount of money; they need a short stop. Manny Machado would make sense there. The Phillies need an outfielder; Bryce Harper would make sense there, but I can’t imagine them getting both of them. But I think, and it’s just a guess, that they might get one of them.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale also put the Phillies near the top of this winter’s face-of-the-franchise lottery, throwing San Francisco in the mix for Harper’s services as well. Kirkjian also mentioned the Dodgers as potential suitors should Manny Machado leave LA, but the scribe’s most terrifying (for Cardinals fans) guess were those North-Side Baby Bears.
“The Cubs are in a bad offensive situation with the way they finished. They’re going to need another bat and Maybe Bryce Harper fits there,” Kurkjian said.
three or four players for the price of one
Many Cardinal fans are craving a ‘Face of the Franchise’ type player, but both Nightengale and MLB.com’s Mike Petriello have alluded to the Birds instead making a bid for third baseman Josh Donaldson.
Asked what he’d do if he were operating the Cardinals with his own money this winter, Donaldson was Petriello’s first piece followed by some bullpen help.
“What I think I’d do is I go get a Donaldson at third base and I spend the rest of my money on like three good relievers, Petriello said. “And then figure out a place to trade Jose Martinez and maybe you can get an interesting reliever back; although his trade value is not that huge at this point.
“I think it’s probably better off that they try to get like three or four quality guys for the same amount of money that they would spend for one (Bryce) Harper or one (Manny) Machado,” he added. “Don’t get me wrong; if Harper comes out and says he’s always wanted to be a Cardinal, you go get him because he’s an elite-level talent. But that doesn’t seem likely to me.”
Stay connected to 101 ESPN for plenty more Cardinals hot stove talk throughout the offseason.