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MLB rumors: Dodgers could make serious run at Bryce Harper

Harper will be seeking a record deal, and the Dodgers could be prepared to break their bank.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers “could be a threat” to land Bryce Harper in free agency next winter, according to a report from FanRag’s Jon Heyman. Harper is expected to command a deal in the $400-500 million range.

The Dodgers are the owners of baseball’s highest payroll, and Heyman reports that some believe they will be a major threat to empty the bank and add one of the game’s best hitters. The Yankees, Phillies and Nationals seem to be the other teams in play for Harper as of now.

The rumor makes sense given Harper’s ties to the Dodgers. Current team president Stan Kasten was part of the Nationals group who drafted Harper first overall pick back in 2010, and has greeted Harper’s parents at Dodger Stadium when they have visited from their home in Las Vegas, according to Heyman.

The Dodgers are currently the sixth-best hitting team in baseball with a team average of .265. However, their 46 home runs as a team is 18th in baseball. Adding a power bat like Harper around young studs like Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger to back up a pitching staff that is one of the best in the game would make the Dodgers a scary team in 2019.

Harper is enjoying one of the best starts in baseball, batting .355 with an OPS+ of 203 through 38 games. His .468 OBP leads the league, with his mediocre 2016 season now a distant memory.