Years after there was speculation that Bryce Harper would bolt the Washington Nationals to join fellow Las Vegas native Kris Bryant with the Chicago Cubs, the two are again being mentioned in the same sentence.
Jon Heyman of Audacy Sports hears that Harper is “stumping” for the Philadelphia Phillies to bring in Bryant, who is a free agent after splitting the 2021 season with the Cubs and San Francisco Giants.
It should be noted here that Harper and Bryant are both represented by Scott Boras, so the reigning National League MVP might have some extra motivation to help Bryant maximize his first trip to free agency.
There’s no doubt, though, that Bryant would be a fit in the Phillies lineup, hitting between Harper and Rhys Hoskins. Bryant isn’t a Gold Glove-caliber fielder, but he spent time at third base, first base, left field, center field and right field in 2021, so he would also add tremendous defensive flexibility to the Phillies.
Given that Heyman notes that the Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres and New York Mets also are potential fits for Bryant, the Phillies would have to be all-in on the former National League MVP to ultimately land him.
At the outset of the offseason, I predicted on Audacy Sports that Bryant would land a six-year/$140 million deal this offseason. The 30-year-old doesn’t have a qualifying offer attached to him, so the Phillies wouldn’t need to surrender draft compensation to sign Bryant.
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