Dodgers Clear Space, But Will Harper Sign Elsewhere?

Earlier today the news broke that the Los Angeles Dodgers had made a trade with the Cincinnati Reds. In the trade the Dodgers sent Outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, Starting Pitcher Alex Wood to Cinci in return for Starting Pitcher Homer Bailey and two minor league prospects.

The Dodgers also sent Catcher/Infielder Kyle Farmer and $7 million over too the Reds. The two prospects in the trade are Infielder Jeter Downs and Pitcher Josiah Gray.

This deal freed up $17 million in luxury tax payroll. They now have the money to sign a free agent outfielder. If they do sign someone without moving more money, they risk going right back over the luxury tax.

Enter free agent Outfielder Bryce Harper. Harper has been heavily linked to the Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, and New York Yankees.

While other teams have the free money to play with, its really all going to come down to where Harper wants to play. Reports state that he has been talking to Phillies star Rhys Hoskins about potentially playing in Philly.

Reports are also making their rounds saying that the Phillies are looking into free agent Third Baseman Manny Machado. If that deal materializes I would expect the Phillies to drop out of the running for Harper.

The White Sox have the lowest payroll of the teams listed, therefor are in a perfect position to make a huge splash. They are also still a couple years away from competing for a pennant. I don’t believe Harper will sign with an up and coming team.

If the Dodgers move more money, expect them to pursue Harper. Otherwise, I expect Harper to be a Philly by the the tome the season rolls around.

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