May 24, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees former players (L-R) Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, and Derek Jeter pose for a photo during the ceremony retiring Williams number 51 prior to the game against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Bryce in the Bronx
When it comes to the Yankees, the first thing that inevitably comes up is money. They have more of it than almost any other franchise and they’re not afraid to spend it on the right player. Add to that the fact that by the time Harper hits free agency, they’ll be free of the albatross of the Alex Rodriguez contract, and there’s no doubt that they’ll be able to outbid almost anyone, particularly a smaller market team, like the Nationals.
If that isn’t enough, though, there’s also the allure of playing under the bright lights in the reconstructed House That Ruth Built.
Harper has never made it a secret that he grew up a Yankees fan, nor that the position he really covets is center field. While the Nationals have seemingly relegated Harper to right field with the emergence of Michael Taylor, the Yankees might be willing to give Harper what he wants. After all, one of Harper’s biggest idols, Mickey Mantle, spent the better part of his illustrious career anchoring the outfield at Yankees Stadium. It’d be almost foolish to think that, for Harper, the idea of manning the same position as one of his idols didn’t carry any weight when it came down to making a decision on where to spend his future.
There’s also the allure of Yankees Stadium to consider. Since the moment that he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated at 16, Harper has never shied away from the spotlight. When the game is on the line, Harper wants to be the one with all eyes on him. The truth of the matter is, if he really wants to maximize his star power, New York is the place to do it. The Nationals may have some pull now as a World Series favorite, but there’s little question that New York offers more glamor that D.C. can. If there’s anyone who has the personality to bear the burden of playing on the game’s biggest stage under the sharpest scrutiny, it’s Harper.
Next: Bryce Staying In DC?