What is perhaps not so fun for Harper is that with spring training that starts in two weeks, it remains unsigned. While the Phillies and Nationals remain the most visible landing points, apparently there is a new team in the mix, as Harper will meet Padres' representatives on Thursday in his hometown of Las Vegas. While we do not know how serious the intentions of the Padres are, they have now been linked with Manny Machado, J.T. Realmuto and Harper with increasing intensity in the last days. They seem to want to do something big.
Harper to the Padres makes more sense than at first glance:
San Diego is near home for Harper.
The Padres have many perspectives on the way, so you can read the tea leaves and see a bright future. They need a piece of foundation – especially because it's not Eric Hosmer.
There would be much less average to treat than D.C. or Philadelphia (not to mention New York or Los Angeles, once potential Harper destinations).
Franmil Reyes, Hunter Renfroe, Wil Myers and Franchy Cordero are not the roadblocks to sign Harper. Please. Of course, the Padres have an excess of corner outfielders, but none of these guys has approached the .393 OBP of Harper last year, or will close in 2019 or any other season. . In fact, the Padres had died last in the National League with an OBD .297. They need Harper.
In fact, if they sign Harper, a couple of these outfielders could be used as commercial bait for a third baseman or as part of an agreement with Realmuto. (Probably the Padres would also send Francisco Mejia in such an exchange with the Marlin.)
Many of these same arguments can be made on Machado, and with the Padres who have a clear opening to the third base, you can say that it is more suitable. It would seem, however, that Harper – like a West Coast guy who has spent his entire career in the NL – is a more likely bet than choosing San Diego.
Now, of course, the question that always arises in these situations: money. Will the Padres spend it? One of the clever owners who have managed to make fans turn is the idea of limited resources as an excuse to limit expenses. Keep this in mind: according to the public statement of MLB, the total revenues of all the majors increased by $ 300 million in 2018, while the salaries were reduced by $ 18 million. This increase in revenue is not going to the players. Those revenues do not include funds that can be hidden, such as the local TV agreements of the teams. Many teams have a stake in their regional sports network, including Padres CEO Ron Fowler, who has a 20 percent stake in Fox Sports San Diego.
In other words: the money is out there if the teams want to spend it. In the case of the Padres, the team recently shared some financial numbers with Kevin Acee from the San Diego Union-Tribune. The Padres claim that only a $ 35 million cash call from the property and a $ 68 million payment after MLB sold BAMTech allowed the team to reach a draw. (The article did not define on which period of "draw" years referred to).
Back in 2015, when the general manager, then rookie A.J. Preller led his off-season frenzy that included the business of Matt Kemp and Craig Kimbrel and the signature of James Shields, the Padres went from 77 wins to … 74. In the Union-Tribune article, the Padres they say they have increased wages by $ 40 million, but have seen only a $ 15 million increase in ticket and merchandise revenue. The bad results of that winter seemed to have frightened Fowler.
"I did not need many changes in my belief, but it convinced me that the business model did not work," Fowler said. "We had a blip in terms of revenue … [and] we dug a big hole for ourselves ".
According to the Cot Contracts, the Padres' paycheck was only $ 25 million higher in 2015, but the point is that all this sounds like the owner speaks for the reason why they do not want to risk spending money on the free agents. Of course, this is the franchise that donated $ 144 million last season to Hosmer, so who knows.
However, Cot plans the current Padres pay to … only $ 80 million. They have long-term commitments with Hosmer (until 2025) and Wil Myers (until 2022), but with so many prospects coming up, their roster will be full of young people at low cost. Even with Harper at $ 30 million per season, the payroll would still be below $ 130 million last year.
So, there is room for Harper. There is space for Harper and Realmuto. O Harper and Dallas Keuchel. O Harper and Mike Moustakas playing third base. How about this formation once Fernando Tatis Jr. – Keith Law's general perspective number 1 – is recalled, perhaps after the All-Star break:
2B Luis Urias
C J.T. Realmuto
RF Bryce Harper
LF Wil Myers
1B Eric Hosmer
3B Mike Moustakas
SS Fernando Tatis Jr.
Margot CF manual
The pitchers Chris Paddack and Logan Allen are ready for the MLB and could join the spin at some point this season, while others like MacKenzie Gore and Adrian Morejon are more distant. That's why a veteran leader like Keuchel makes sense.
In the end, everything is part of the big question: how much do the Padres want to win? Because the signature of Bryce Harper will make them a better team and certainly more interesting. Fowler's group bought the Padres in 2012 and has not yet seen its franchise have a winning season. But perhaps it does not matter: the value of the deductible has grown from its purchase price of $ 600 million to about $ 1.2 billion.
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