Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper won’t be a free-agent until October, but the anonymous backlash has already begun. One National League executive didn’t hold back, calling Harper a “losing player,” according to Robert Murray of FRS.
A “top National League executive” sent Murray three texts with some harsh thoughts on Harper.
Text one: “He’s simply overrated. The good ain’t worth the bad. He’s a losing player. Cares about himself more than the team. If I was in charge and had money, my team would not pursue him. We would use that money to sign 2-3 winning players.”
Text two: “He’s a losing player. I would not sign him. I would use that money to sign 2-3 winning players.”
Text three: “If he gets more than 10-years, $300 million, I’d be surprised. I would not give him 10 years period and certainly not at that AAV. He’s just not worth it. He’s a selfish, losing player.”
The texts hit on some key points. Harper is overrated, not worth the money and is not a winning player, according to the exec.
Keeping it anonymous
It’s obvious why the executive remained anonymous here. It would be a bad look for a rival executive to rip Harper like this. It’s also worth noting this is an executive, not necessarily a general manger. This person could work for a GM or owner who really covets Harper. That would make for an awkward situation.
There’s also a question of whether this executive should be allowed to slam Harper like this without putting their name on those quotes. If you’re going to go that hard after a guy, you should have the conviction to put your name behind it. It’s easy to rip anyone anonymously.
Why do it?
There are a few reasons the exec would send these texts. It’s possible they believe every word. They really believe Harper is vastly overrated, selfish and can’t lead a team to a World Series win.
It’s also possible that this exec is trashing Harper to try and lower his value on the market. It wouldn’t be the first time anonymous quotes tried to bring down a player. Teams will do whatever it takes to get the best deal.
Harper is struggling
It’s easy to trash Harper right now because he’s hitting just .228. But there’s evidence that’s flukey. His .216 BABIP is 100 points lower than his career average. His peripherals are fine and he’s actually hitting the ball harder than ever. Over his career, Harper is a .281 hitter. There’s a good chance he gets back up to that number before the end of the season.
Maybe that won’t net him a $400 million deal, but it should stop people from calling him overrated.
It won’t, because this is Harper. But it should.
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