MLB free-agent sluggers Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are “almost certainly” not an option for the New York Mets.
But why? It’s not as if either slugger is over that ill-fated magical age of 30. This is the all-mighty question so man fans are asking.
Harper, 26, is a six-time NL All-Star and 2015 NL MVP. Last season, he clubbed 34 home runs to go along with 100 runs batted in over a .249 clip. His 184 home runs and .279 batting average over a seven-year career (927) games should have every organization salivating at the mouth.
Machado, 26, is an extremely similar player from the right side. More diverse offensively than Harper, his career .282 clip at the plate bests Harper’s prowess in that area. But his .335 on-base can’t hold a candle to Harper’s .385.
The decision, if one, should be drilled down to positional need and the answer is obvious.
Needing a slugging outfielder in the worst way, Harper’s lefty bat is a no-brainer. How in the world could a New York team not be in on this guy while Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees remain idle?
Rumors have surfaced surrounding Harper’s asking price. While in D.C. Harper’s rumored number started at the $400-million mark. His agent, Scott Boras, continues to seek that number.
Recent history suggests paying any player such a long-term deal is a franchise killer. Rarely do studs live up to the money per campaign. At the same time, this isn’t the NFL or NHL. There is no hard-salary cap ruling the roost and affecting everything executives look to achieve.
With the Metropolitans ranking in the seven-hold per MLB team salary rankings, per Spotrac, the natural response coupled with confusion continues to mount. A Harper $30 million annual salary would bump them up to the No. 5 spot, just above the Los Angeles Angels.
It doesn’t matter. Reality is stark and the New York Mets fan can forget about Bryce Harper and Manny Machado … for now.