Astros News

Astros: Looking at MLBTR’s predictions for top fifty free agents

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HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Minute Maid Park on September 3, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Minute Maid Park on September 3, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 26: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals waves to the crowd following the Nationals 9-3 win over the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on September 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 26: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals waves to the crowd following the Nationals 9-3 win over the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on September 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

East coast player heads out west

Let’s cut right to the chase: Harper is predicted to sign with the Dodgers for 14-years, $420 million (gasp!). Here is where every baseball writer would insert a Harper vs. Mike Trout, king of Los Angeles debate. Personally, I’m rolling with Trout, who is also a weather enthusiast on the side. Seriously, that’s a cool hobby as I personally dabble in weather from time-to-time. And I bet Trout is still lightyears better at predicting the weather like he is playing baseball than I am.

Back to Harper, who will likely sign the largest contract in baseball history when it is all said and done. There is little doubt that opt-out clauses will be involved as those are starting to become standard in large baseball contacts. The key figure for Los Angeles may be the $30 million annual value of the deal when broken down by year. The luxury tax is essentially a soft salary cap in baseball, and a lower annual value over 14-years could be beneficial to the Dodgers.

Harper is only 26-years old, but a fourteen-year commitment is extreme even for him. But Dodgers’ ownership has deep pockets and a chance to sign one of the more talented stars in today’s game. If he is worth $420 million is another debate entirely, though. Outside of his MVP season in 2015 when he finished with an unworldly 197 wRC+, the long-time National hasn’t been the clear best player in baseball. Although general manager Jeff Luhnow nearly acquired Harper during the trade deadline, this predicted price tag is enough to steer the budget-conscious Astros away from the negotiation table. The Yankees, Cubs, Phillies, Giants, and Cardinals are predicted as the most interested teams outside the Dodgers.

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