It’s inevitable that the Dodgers or any other big market teams have their name thrown about into rumors every offseason. The level of interest doesn’t matter, it’s all about throwing that name out. But a free agent as high-profile as Bryce Harper doesn’t need to play that game.
It was reported late Monday night that the Dodgers sent a group — originally said to be led by Magic Johnson, but the part-owner denied being there — to meet with the superstar in Las Vegas. That’s Harper’s hometown and just so happens to be the site of this year’s winter meetings, taking place December 9-13.
Signing Harper would be costly and seeing this front office sign a player who is looking for a payday in the neighborhood above $300 million doesn’t fit. But maybe there is something that can be worked out on a shorter term than the insanely bad idea of an eight to ten year commitment.
Ken Rosenthal laid out a plan Monday that could see the Dodgers making necessary trades and sign Harper to a short-term deal. Using that line of thinking, the possibilities are fun to imagine.
Here's a Dodger offseason that won't happen but absolutely could. Imagine this team?— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) December 4, 2018
- trade OF/prospects for Kluber
- trade Ruiz-or-Smith + more prospects for Realmuto
- sign Harper.
If you combine the opportunity to trade some outfield talent and prospects, there could be a scenario that lands the Dodgers multiple premier players. The prospect price would be exorbitant, but think about the idea of having Corey Kluber — or more likely Trevor Bauer — and J.T. Realmuto to go with Harper.
Kluber, Realmuto and Harper would be an outstanding haul for a team that badly needs a World Series championship. But as exciting as that may be to dream up, do you really believe the Dodgers would do it? It’s hard to imagine all three, much less two of those.
It’s reasonable to believe a trade or two will happen this next week at the winter meetings, but don’t expect to see Harper sign in the next week or so.