Nobody draws a crowd like Scott Boras who is the super agent representing Bryce Harper. He is like the ole E.F. Hutton commercials “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen”. Boras draws standing-room only crowds. His speeches are filled with Boras-isms and clichés and quite a bit of B.S. that he delivers like a used car salesman selling Mercedes while convincing you it is as good as a Rolls Royce. In 2015, Harper was a Rolls Royce, but since then he has performed like a sports car in need of a tune-up. But yet, Boras is trying to sell him at a Barrett Jackson Auction like he is a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder. The issue is Harper has not even been a Top-10 player from 2016-2018 in WAR. Harper was not even Top-3 on his own team in 2018.
It really is mind-boggling to think Harper could end up like J.D. Martinez where the market never materializes. It is possible, but some team will probably pay-up a number north of what Giancarlo Stanton received in his 13-year $325 million deal from the Marlins a few years back.
None of the big names signed during the Winter Meetings. Harper, Manny Machado, and Dallas Keuchel are all unsigned. It was a boring Winter Meetings for most of the fanbases. Bryce Harper never even made a cameo appearance at the Mandalay which is in his hometown of Las Vegas. There was more star power last year in Orlando when Mickey Mouse showed up at the Dolphin resort on the Disney grounds.
The Washington Nationals only moves were acquiring Chuck Taylor — no relation to the Converse shoe company and Tanner Rainey in the Tanner Roark trade. Taylor was the minor leaguer Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo chose in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft. That was it for Nats acquisitions, but you can bet that Rizzo set the groundwork for other acquisitions.
According to our sources, the Nationals also was close to acquiring left-handed starter Wade Miley who was a stand-out in the post-season for the Brewers going 14 2/3 innings with a thrifty 1.23 ERA. Former G.M. Dan O’Dowd who is now an analyst on the MLB Network picked Miley as the one free agent he would pursue.
For the Nats, they could use a solid #4 starter along with a #5 to give them extra depth along with that versatile lefty batter who could play 2nd base along with 1st base. Rizzo should have about $24 million to spend, and maybe more if he sheds some more payroll. The second base market is saturated which should allow Rizzo the opportunity to get a bargain on an acquisition. We have rated Jed Lowrie as the top target to fill the last spot in the line-up.
On the starter market, there are so many names out there available, and the Nats have been mentioned next to Anibal Sanchez‘s name as well as Dallas Keuchel. It’s only December 14th giving Mike Rizzo some more time to work his magic.