As the Major League Baseball offseason gets underway, perhaps the most prized free agent of all time, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, is now on the open market.
Harper is expected to garner interest from a multitude of teams, and among them could be the Los Angeles Dodgers. It is no secret that the Dodgers have been enamored with Harper for quite some time now.
They reportedly touched base with the Nationals on him at the non-waiver trade deadline this past season and claimed Harper on waivers less than a month later, although the two teams were unable to come to an agreement on a trade.
Some light was recently shed on those trade discussions as according to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers were willing to send Yasiel Puig to the Nationals for Harper:
The Dodgers offered Puig in a trade, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, but the two sides could not strike a deal.
Puig’s name has come up in trade rumors dozens of times over the years, but he has ultimately remained with the Dodgers and has now played in more postseason games than anyone else in franchise history.
With Harper playing a majority of his games in right fielder the last few years, it makes sense that Puig would become expendable if it meant acquiring a player of Harper’s caliber.
It will be interesting to see what happens this offseason though if the Dodgers pursue Harper in free agency as Puig is eligible for salary arbitration this winter and under contract for one more season.
One solution could be to move Harper to left field, if he is willing to do so, or the Dodgers could again look to trade Puig and upgrade at another area of need. It would take a hefty contract to sign Harper, though, and it remains to be seen if the Dodgers are willing to dish that out.