Washington Nationals: Forecasting the Bryce Harper sweepstakes

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For all the chatter of legendary franchises and super teams, there is only one club where he can become their first true legend. Your own Washington Nationals.

If he spurns the siren song of Hollywood and the Big Apple, his legend reaches Derek Jeter and Sandy Koufax overnight. The images of Harper holding the World Series trophy, officially the Commissioner’s Trophy, in a DC parade will cement the Nats as the region’s top franchise. Along with Walter Johnson, John Riggins and Joe Gibbs, Harper joins that status, sharing a towel with John Thompson.

Every place else, Harper is a hired hand. A highly paid mercenary. Not a bad thing at all. In Washington, he becomes the idol John Wall, Kirk Cousins and Alexander Ovechkin dream about.

The Nats can afford him. At some point, they will get a better television deal from MASN. Ticket sales remain strong. The surrounding talent can win a World Series.

This contract is more than money. Any team can offer the cash he wants. Harper wants to cement his legacy. Yes, the money matters, but perception and place in history mean more.  Washington has everything he wants.

If Harper leaves, he will decide what he feels is best for his family. A pennant run by the Nats this year makes leaving harder. Maybe impossible.