Report: Some teams concerned about Bryce Harper’s defense, consistency
Many expected Bryce Harper to get a record contract in free agency. However, at the start of February, he remains unsigned, and it’s not clear when he’ll join a team.
One reason that some teams are apparently wary of Harper is that they have some concerns about Harper’s defense and consistency, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. This is apparently one of several reasons that the Los Angeles Dodgers declined to pursue him, instead signing free agent outfielder A.J. Pollock to a shorter, less-expensive deal than Harper will command.
Rosenthal doesn’t note which teams beyond the Dodgers have harbored such concerns. Harper has gone between excellent offensive years and less impressive ones, hitting over .300 with an OPS above 1.000 in both 2015 and 2017 while seeing his average drop below .250 in 2016 and 2018.
Four teams are in on Harper and he’s still going to get a lot of money. However, it looks less likely that he’ll get the blockbuster deal he probably hoped for.