As per Mike Puma of the New York Post, New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has interest in bringing six-time National League All-Star and 2015 NL MVP Bryce Harper into the fold in Flushing.
“Van Wagenen has made it clear, according to sources, that he is interested in [Harper],” Puma wrote. “But there is skepticism within the industry that team owner Fred Wilpon would approve an outlay of $300 million-plus for that type of acquisition.”
Harper, 26, has a .279/.388/.512 slash line through seven MLB seasons with 184 home runs, 521 runs batted in, a 139 OPS+ rating, .390 weighted on-base average, and 147 weighted runs created plus rating.
Spotrac projects Harper to rake in an average salary of over $31 million over the course of his new contract. While this is no doubt a hefty sum — especially for the notoriously frugal Wilpons — to swallow, with the Mets’ current payroll sitting at $92.5 million (pre-arbitration), there’s room to make this substantial of a commitment.
Some have pointed to Harper’s “down” year in 2018 (.249/.393/.496, 34 homers, 100 RBI, 133 OPS+), and although his batting average took a tremendous dip from the .319 he hit in 2017 (1.008 OPS, 156 OPS+), the use of defensive shifts throughout the game has never been greater, which could partially explain the decrease in productivity.
This is certainly something to keep an eye on. We’ll keep you posted with any new developments.