What would the LA Angels look like with Bryce Harper on the team?
By David Rice
With the baseball winter meetings in full swing so is the rumor mill. The latest is that the LA Angels have some interest in signing Bryce Harper. Some fans would go crazy with excitement, but you cant judge a book by its cover.
The LA Angels have been known for making a big splash in the free agent market when you least expect them too. So with the latest rumors that the Bryce Harper may land in Anaheim this winter may seemed far-fetched, but as their past track record proves: you never know.
The Angels outfield is already pretty good with the best player in baseball manning center field in Mike Trout. Kole Calhoun has also done well in right field although his offense has dropped drastically the past two seasons. Justin Upton is still an all-star candidate year-in and year-out.
However an outfield with Bryce Harper added in right field potentially to go with Trout and Upton would look unbelievable on paper. The question is #1 How much would it cost? #2 Is Harper worth all the money he and his agent want for him? #3 How much would signing Harper to a big free-agent deal cripple the Angels ability to make future moves including re-signing Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.
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Harper could be just what the doctor ordered, a left-handed power bat who can also play the field and run the bases. Having the two best players in baseball in the same outfield would be something amazing to see. However, would the Angels have enough pitching to be competitive?
The Angels have been down this road before with mixed results. In 2004 the Angels signed arguably the best players in baseball at the time in Vladimir Guerrero which worked out very well for the team. The Angels also spent a bunch of money on free-agent pitcher Bartolo Colon and that worked out for a few seasons, but turned out to be more of a bust.
More recently the Angels signed Albert Pujols to a colossal contract. While Pujols has been decently productive he has not lived up to his 10-year $243 million dollar price tag. I don’t even want to mention Josh Hamilton and his huge mistake of a contract 5 year-$125 million dollar contract. So just signing the biggest free agent name does not make a team a World Series champion. Look at the Yankees who signed Giancarlo Stanton and didn’t even make it out of the Division Series.
If the Angels can somehow find a way to get some quality pitching and sign Bryce Harper without gutting their up-and-coming farm system then I say go for it. However, the likelihood of this happening is very slim. I think the Angels should stay the course and go after a couple of good arms and maybe sign a solid catcher who can not only play defense, but hit as well.
There are some names to be had that won’t totally break the bank that the Angels could pursue. They could also make moves by trading some players mainly Kole Calhoun and possibly get some good return for him or others. We will have to see what gifts Santa Eppler has in store for Halo Nation. If it ends up being Bryce Harper coming to Anaheim with a big red bow attached to him that will be an interesting development and we will have to see how it plays out.