Bryce Harper, a National League MVP at 23, is a free agent at 26, peddling his services in an industry that’s grown to nearly $11 billion in annual revenues. His combination of skills, age and marketing cachet make him an excellent fit for any major league franchise.
Even the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Harper, who has 184 career home runs and a lifetime .900 OPS, rejected a 10-year, $300 million contract offer from the Nationals in September, and is a good bet to set a new standard for the most lucrative contract in North American sports history.
It’s taken weeks – and will likely require several more – for that process to play out. In the meantime, USA TODAY Sports will examine why every team could use Harper’s services – some more than others, certainly some better-equipped to procure them.
A case for Harper and the Pirates joining forces:
On the field
Is it also the definition of insanity to not do the same thing over and over, and expect a different result?
We bring this up because the Pirates are closing in on the 40th anniversary of their last playoff series victory. Oh, sure, they won three consecutive AL East titles from 1990-92, only to succumb thrice to the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series and launch a two-decade run of losing seasons.