White Sox reportedly front-runner for one of the top free agents available. This franchise has been aggressive during Winter Meetings.
Bryce Harper has been on the minds of many White Sox fans this week. There have been many rumors over the past few days linking the team to having interest in signing the All-Star outfielder to doubting whether they would be outbid by other teams.
The biggest rumor to come out so far this week came on Wednesday evening from Jim Bowden with CBS Sports Network. Bowden mentioned the White Sox were a frontrunner to sign Harper this offseason.
Throughout the day on Wednesday, there were some quotes from Harper’s agent Scott Boras that alluded to some favorable traits in what team he was looking to play for. The Sox don’t have a team that could immediately contend next season even if they sign Harper. Coming off a 100 loss season in 2018, the Sox have many holes to fill to even have a chance at being a .500 team in 2019.
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The Sox will be entering the third year of their current rebuild next season and there’s still a lot of development left for some of the team’s young players. Adding Harper this offseason would align perfectly for the Sox future goals of sustained success. Harper has been studying up on the farm system of interested teams according to Boras.
Selling free agents on future success isn’t easy, but the Sox have a lot of talent in the minors that could become future stars. The Sox might not have the prestige of other teams like the New York Yankees or Chicago Cubs, but they’ve planned well for this offseason and are appearing to be very aggressive in their pursuit for Harper.
Harper does appear to be a very good fit for a rebuilding Sox team. Even though the Sox are about a year or two away from contending, Harper’s addition doesn’t take away from their path towards being competitive. Harper is likely to command a hefty annual salary but the Sox did a good job of minimalizing their financial commitments at this point to have a chance to go after the 26-year-old outfielder.
A constant complaint amongst Sox fans over the years have been that team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is cheap. At 82 years of age, Reinsdorf could dispell that notion by signing Harper to the richest deal in major league history.