Could Bryce Harper be the Yankees new first baseman?
A comment from mega agent Scott Boras surfaced via social media yesterday and it caught many peoples eyes. Boras, the agent of the highly coveted free agent Bryce Harper, said his client is nimble enough to make a transition from the outfield to first base. This comment came a day after reports came out that the New York Yankees would not be chasing Harper this off-season.
The comment from Boras was clearly directed toward New York. Yankee fans all know the struggles the Bombers have had over the last few seasons at first base. Boras also recognizes the Yankees have deep pockets and would be willing to pay Harper big money.
With his comments, Boras proves that Harper would be willing to make a position switch, so long he gets paid. Would the 26-year old be a good fit for the Yankees at first?
First off, Harper is coming off a relatively poor season for his standards. He still managed to hit .249, drive in 100 runs and smash 34 long balls. Compared to his 2015 MVP campaign, it was a down season. Put Harper in pinstripes and his numbers will evidently sky rocket. Harper’s swing is tailor made for Yankee Stadium. He has shown the ability to hit for power and average.
Harper has averaged 26 homers per season in his career, this includes his rookie season that came at just 19-years old. Making a switch to first base could also be beneficial to Harper’s longevity. The position is not as physically demanding as an outfield spot, and preserving Harper’s lower half will only prove to benefit maintaining his power stroke.
Boras is selling Harper to teams as a future Hall of Famer. This is not far fetched. Harper will demand the big bucks this off-season, but if he is willing to play first base, why not? It would solve many issues for the Bombers. Inconsistency from the first base position, and that is putting it lightly, has plagued the Yankees for years.
Adding Harper to the middle of the Yankees lineup would be devastating for opposing pitchers. Harper also provides a break between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, both right-handed bats, making the Yankees order a matchup nightmare for pitchers.
It would be an enormous gamble to commit years and big dollars to a position of inexperience, however, the upside is almost limitless. Harper’s ability to play the outfield as well as first base gives Yankee skipper Aaron Boone a multitude of options. Boone would be able to rotate starters between DH spots, and positions in the field with ease.
In order for the Yankees to sign the left-hander, something would inevitably have to change. Five outfielders and two other first basemen competing for playing time would cause more harm than good. Signing Harper would be well worth it. Sliding him into the middle of the order would vastly improve the Bombers chances in attaining championship 28.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman weighed in on the possibility, saying the Bombers would assess the marketplace and how it might fit the Yanks.
Lets make it happen Cash, the short porch in right field has Harper’s name all over it.
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