Agent Scott Boras told Michael Kay and Don La Greca of 98.7 FM ESPN New York earlier this week that Nationals outfielder and pending free agent Bryce Harper has already picked his team for 2019, which drew plenty of attention on social media Sunday. “We know who the team is. It’s already completed and done, but Bryce has told me that he wanted to tell you personally,” Boras said (video via the YES Network). However, if you’re of the belief Boras was being facetious, you’re correct. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports (Twitter links) that Boras was indeed joking. Anything else would’ve been a major surprise, as the 26-year-old Harper won’t even be allowed to discuss money with anyone but the Nationals until five days after the end of the World Series. Whether Harper ultimately re-signs with the Nats or heads elsewhere during the coming months, there’s no doubt he’ll land one of the richest contracts in baseball history.
Here’s more on a couple other players who are on the brink of reaching the open market:
- Outfielder Andrew McCutchen was highly productive for the Yankees after they acquired him from San Francisco in August, but it doesn’t appear he’ll return to the Bronx next season. The Yankees aren’t expected to re-sign McCutchen, per George A. King III of the New York Post. Even without McCutchen, New York would still have several other high-profile outfielders in Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury. The Bombers could also pursue Harper, and they’ll have to make a decision on Brett Gardner’s $12.5MM club option.
- With left-hander Derek Holland hoping to return to the Giants in 2019, it “could make a lot of sense” for the club to offer him a two-year contract, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports California writes. Holland was unable to secure a guaranteed contract last winter, when the Giants inked him to a minors deal in a move that worked out beautifully for the team. The 32-year-old Holland ended up pitching to a 3.57 ERA/3.87 FIP across a San Francisco-leading 171 1/3 innings, likely setting himself up for a better payday than the $2MM he raked in this season.