White Sox and Phillies Fans Freaking Out That Harper is "Meeting" With Padres

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Okay so this tweet sent a few different fan bases into a fucking frenzy today.  And… we kinda have reason to.  Fuck.  Let’s try to make sense of this.

The San Diego Padres are meeting with Bryce Harper today, according to all of the big wigs.  The “mystery” team isn’t a mystery any more.  I always feared that Preller would throw his hat in the ring because he’s a complete and total wild card, and now it’s official.  Let’s bullet point this out to make it easy:

– The Padres aren’t anywhere near the lux tax line, like the Phillies and White Sox.  They have about $75MM committed to payroll this year and have about $110MM of wiggle room to play with before they get to the lux tax threshold.  They’re a small market so they aren’t going to spending like the (old) Yankees, but should their ownership allow it, the Padres can make a really competitive offer

– They also have the very best farm system in baseball.  They won’t win shit in 2019, but like the Sox, 2020 and beyond they should theoretically be competitive.  They have amassed a ton of talent (fuck the James Shields trade) and currently have 10 top 100 prospects that are about a year or so away, with some that will be ready this year.

– AJ Preller, like I said, is a wild card.  He’s been popped by MLB for bending the rules a few different times and isn’t afraid to go for the big fish.  See Hosmer, Eric whom signed a 8/$144MM deal last year.  Boras hit that one out of the park, because Hosmer kinda sucks

– the last few months have lead to this popular narrative:  that Harper winds up with the Phillies and Machado with the White Sox.  Well, should Harper actually land in SD, that could make the Phillies move on Machado.  Both Lozano and Boras LOVE that there’s an extra team in on the sweepstakes.  This drives the price tag up for both clients.  Supply/demand

Now some good (?) news for Philly and The Sox?  AKA the part where I grasp at straws

– San Diego is a pitchers park.  Does Harper want to play at a field that could somewhat suppress his offensive output?  Probably not.

– Small market.  Does Harper want to go to an organization that can’t turn him into a “superstar” off the field?  Maybe.  We all know that Boras is marketing Harper as a media icon off the field as well, and if he goes to SD, he’s not going to get the national fanfare that he would should he sign in Philly or Chicago.  ESPN is cutting back on all MLB daily shows (no more Baseball Tonight every day) so he’d be largely forgotten by them.  NO SHOT do they cover him daily because… nobody gives a fuck about San Diego sports.

All in all, we gotta home that this is a meeting that is more about the other free agents that Boras doesn’t have deals for yet.  He has these guys still unsigned:

Bryce Harper
Dallas Keuchel
Mike Moustakas
Marwin Gonzalez
Carlos Gonzalez

And about 5 more.  He may take a meeting for “Harper” and try to sell them on say, a 1 year “flip for prospects” deal for like Carlos Gonzales or some shit.  Those guys all need work too.  This is what I think Boras/Harper and the Padres are really taking the meeting for.  Boras wants the best deal for Harper and ultimately the Padres might offer that, but he doesn’t want him winding up in San Diego.  For a guy like Eric Hosmer, sure, but he completely fleeced the Padres in that deal.

This will get the fanbases hopes up for a few days, create buzz, and then a week from now Carlos Gonzales will be their RF for 2019.  Watch it happen.  At least let’s pray that happens because if Harper does line up in Philly, shit will not be fun for Sox fans.

So while we’re not in “freak the fuck out” mode yet, this doesn’t help things.  It’ll only cause it to drag out even more.

Get me to April please