Find Lots of Great Coverage Here


Friday, June 4, 2010


You are going to read this post and laugh. You will mock me. You will write it off as the ramblings of a crazy old man frustrated by events of recent days.

You may be right.

But here's a promise: This post will CONSUME you this weekend, all the way through Monday night. You'll laugh it off and, in a couple of hours, it will pop back into your brain. It will linger, leave and then come back. To stay. You won't be able to shake it.

You will come to the inevitable conclusion that I'm right. Stan, Mike, Jim - they read everything written on the Nats. They will follow the pattern, too.

This is crazy, nutso, stupid and I'm 100 percent serious about it.

Ben over at MASN has a post about possible right-field solutions that talks mostly about potential trades. It's a good, strong post as we've come to expect from Ben.

There's another solution sitting right out there:

Bryce Harper.

Yes, I said exactly that. Bryce Harper.

Draft him Monday, sign him Tuesday, start him Wednesday. Or maybe even Tuesday when you-know-who debuts. Naw, do it Wednesday and sell that out, too.


Why not?

Look, I know he's only 17 or maybe 18 by now. So what? I don't care if he's 12 if he can play. Can he play? We don't know for sure but all signs point that way. Can he be worse than the ever-rotating collection of right fielders the Nats have trotted out there this season? I can't imagine. They could trot out a rotation of us Mom's Basement dwellers and not be much worse.

What's the risk? One of the few good things about sucking so badly for so long is you can take some chances. What are you going to do, suck worse? Give it a couple of months and see. Maybe he CAN handle it. Maybe he can't and it becomes a learning experience, humbles him a bit. He sees what it takes and he goes and gets better. The kid sounds too cocky to let it ruin him if it doesn't work out.

But I suspect it will work out.

The brass needs to call Scott Boras and say this is what we're going to do. We're going to sign your guy immediately. Maybe a little less cheese than if it drags out but the other side is his clock starts right away and his big payday comes a little quicker. Work with us here, Scottie. Storen signed the next day. Why can't Harper?

This team clearly had no answer when it let Elijah Dukes go (he's still available, too). It just wanted rid of the no-curveball hitting former problem child. Two months into the season, it still has no answer.

Maybe this team isn't quite good enough to linger around .500 or above all year. But maybe it is - though not if RF doesn't get settled.

Give it a shot, huh? As crazy as it sounds, maybe it isn't that crazy?

ps - if you do think I'm way too over-the-top crazy here, go back and watch yesterday's ninth inning. Might soften the crazy a bit. There's your ninth-inning right field option.


Dave Nichols said...

Crazy like a fox. So crazy it just might work. What this situation requires is something pointless and futile, and we're just the guys to do it.

Your movie quotes for the day.

MikeHarris said...

Yeah, well, he's crazier when he's NOT stoned.

Can't remember the movie but it fits here. Though I'm not stoned. Too early in the day.

bdrube said...

The only problem I have with it is that if it works it allows Harper to follow his dream of being a Yankee as a $200 million free agent at an age younger than Ryan Zimmerman is right now.

Oh well. As Warner Wolf used to say, The Future is NOW!

Sasskuash said...

I'll give you the 1 BIG reason why this won't work. Boras won't bite. The only way Boras agrees to this is if the Nats give Harper record-breaking money. And even then, I think Boras would use that offer as a "floor" and hold out for more. I don't think the Nats give Harper more than JEE-sus and Boras wants to beat that number with Harper.

But let's say, just for fun, that Boras would play along. If I'm on Harper's side of the table, and I am going to play along, I would need it to be writen in the contract that I (or my client) starts in MLB and stays on the MLB roster the entire time. No matter how bad he is, he must stay in the majors. The Nats would not and should not do this. Huge odds are he'll need some Minor League time- like 1000 to 1 odds. The Nats would be screwing themselves and wasting Harper's talent to agree to that.

Finally, even if Boras plays along, and the Nats agree to play him in the majors right away, they still shouldn't do it. The kid is 17 YEARS OLD! Yes, he's a phenomenal talent. But the odds that he is ready to step in against MLB pitching are slim to none. The Nats would be wasting a prime draft pick on a uniquely talented player and pissing it down the drain.

Anonymous said...

Another major issue with such a plan relates to Major League Baseball. Even if Boras agreed to get him signed quickly (which would probably be the first time in his entire career), MLB would not approve the deal until shortly before the deadline because it will definitely be way over slot. There have been many instances where the team and player agreed to terms and then had to wait for several weeks before the play could begin his professional career. As a result, Harper still wouldn't be available to the Nats until mid August.

Outside of this, I would be surprised if Harper hit much higher than 200 and if the Nats are going to have him for 6 years, I'd rather those be years 21-26 than 18-23.

DMan said...

Did we quit after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Let's doooooooooo it! ... from same movie

Anonymous said...

Why run the risk of ruining a potential superstar by not letting him have success in the minors first? And as someone else pointed out, become a free agent at an early age.

MikeHarris said...

Because I don't think it will "ruin" him if he tanks early. If it does, he's probably a bad pick anyway.

You have to look at it as it will either be a success or a learning experience. If you fear failure and doom, well, yeah, it won't work.

I said it was a chance. Take one. Break the mold. Do something different. The potential reward is very high. The risk isn't that high.

And we need to quit thinking SIX years down the road. Think now.

brent said...

I love it! Going straight to the majors at age 17 didn't ruin Mel Ott or Bob Feller.

How about giving the kid a 6-year contract with club options for years 7 through 10? It seems like if someone use a little creativity in writing the contracts, they could come up with something that could the avoid the pointless Super Two delay and benefit both the player and the team.

Sasskuash said...

I know nobody is checking a post this far back, but I'll say it here anyway: I don't want to see Harper debut quickly. I want them to wait 3 or 4 or 5 years, and bring him up when he's 22.

Players typically don't hit their prime until around ages 27-32. Harper could still be growing at 17, still be getting better. Plus the Nats only get 6 MLB years before he hits FA and runs off to the Yankees. I want to see Harper in a Nats uniform for his prime years, not his still-growing, getting-used-to-his-new-body years. If they wait to debut him until 21 or 22, he is a Nat until he turns 27 and we see the best of his career. If we debut him before the age of 20, we see his last growth spurt, and watch him become his best in a Yankee uniform. Wait to bring the kid up!