Dukes: Odds Are In Favor Of Harper Leaving Washington

If the Nationals don't advance to at least the NLCS, Harper may bolt for New York, Chicago or L.A.

Ferrall On The Bench
April 19, 2018 - 9:04 am

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Bryce Harper has had a blistering start to the 2018 season. He leads the league in home runs (eight), RBIs (18), and walks (24) and is third in OBP (.471).

He’s been a freak.

Unfortunately for the Nationals, this could be Harper’s last season in Washington.

“Look, he appreciates his image, he appreciates where he is in the media, and I think New York would be valuable for him,” WJFK afternoon drive host Chad Dukes said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I think Chicago would be valuable for him or Los Angeles. I get all that. But he’s also a baseball nut. And by the end of the season, if you can make him believe that the best place for him to go out there and do baseball things is Washington D.C., I think they have a shot.”

Harper is in his seventh MLB season – and is still only 25. He will reportedly command a contract worth upwards of $450 million.

“You and I will have to yap about whether or not that’s actually in play,” Dukes said. “I think the odds are in favor of him not being in D.C., but the fans aren’t holding it against him and he’s not going to address it throughout the course of this season. If they can figure out a way to get him to the NLCS, then let’s have a different conversation by the end of this whole deal.”

Easier said than done. The Nationals have made the playoffs in four of the last six seasons but have lost in the NLDS all four times. In fact, they’ve lost Game 5 of the NLDS three times, including each of the last two seasons. 

This year, they are 9-10, fourth in the NL East, and trail the Mets (13-4) by five games.

“It’s a slow start, and they have some injuries,” Dukes said. “Max Scherzer, every time there is a lag in what this team is able to accomplish, Scherzer goes out there and just does exactly what you paid him to do. I’ll tell you this: Not one time in Washington D.C. – where all we do is bitch about money and bitch about contracts and bitch about investments – not one time has the amount of money we spent on Max Scherzer ever come up. Because he has 100 percent come through on it every single time he’s come out there and needed to put a stop to a losing streak.”

Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA, a 0.67 WHIP and has 38 strikeouts in 27.0 innings.

“I think they’ll be fine,” Dukes said. “They’ll win this division by six or seven games."