Braves fans fantasizing about Bryce Harper manning right field at SunTrust Park were dealt reality this winter.
Harper, perhaps the most illustrious free agent in history, has yet to choose his new destination. Two National League East teams, the incumbent Nationals and the ambitious Phillies, seem to be his most likely destinations.
There was speculation – albeit, more wishful thinking – that the Braves would delve into his market with their freed up dollars. General manager Alex Anthopoulos shut down those thoughts early in the offseason when he explained it didn’t make sense for the mid-market franchise to allocate so much money to one player (possibly $300 million) over the expected amount of years (eight to 10).
Among the connecting dots for a Harper-Braves union was Freddie Freeman, the Braves’ franchise player who’s friends with Harper. The former MVP was also linked to the Cubs for a similar reason: He’s very tight with fellow Las Vegas native Kris Bryant.
Bryant recently said the Cubs won’t be Harper’s landing spot, which most figured. Days later, Freeman acknowledged he never felt Harper would end up with a tomahawk on his chest.