The Washington Nationals are actively listening to offers for Bryce Harper. Here are five teams that can realistically acquire the star outfielder.
There aren’t many teams in MLB that couldn’t benefit from adding Bryce Harper to their roster today. He may be having a bit of a down year for the Nationals, but his talent level is elite. The real question is which teams have the assets to really be a realistic trade partner for Washington.
Teams don’t necessarily need to be right in the thick of their division races to be in the mix. That obviously helps, but some teams may move for Harper with the idea that it boosts their chances of re-signing him this winter. That’s a big gamble, but championships are won by taking big swings.
These five teams have the assets and the need to swing a deal for Harper. We start with an unlikely team on the West Coast.
5. San Francisco Giants
The Giants aren’t entirely out of playoff contention, but sitting 5.5 games out in the NL West certainly isn’t ideal. However, the relatively recent return of Madison Bumgarner is reason for optimism for the San Francisco front office.
Adding a big time player like Harper would help the Giants close the gap on the Dodgers both in terms of on-field product and star power off the field. They can’t afford to fall further into Los Angeles’ shadow. Making the biggest move at the trade deadline would certainly keep San Francisco relevant for the time being.
The Giants also have a massive hole to fill in their outfield. Hunter Pence has been one of the worst regulars in baseball this season. Having an outfielder who is slashing .219/.260/.299 is a good way to kill your offense. Turning Pence into Harper would give the Giants lineup a massive boost. San Francisco certainly isn’t the favorite to swing a deal for Harper, but don’t count them out of the race.