The Washington Nationals have a long-term plan for Bryce Harper.
They will keep him as a player-manager.
They’ll give him more opportunities to succeed in the big leagues.
But they’ll also try to figure out how to make sure he doesn’t get hurt again.
Here’s what we know so far.
The Nationals have been in the market for a shortstop for the past few weeks, and the front office is eager to get the best available player for next year.
Harper is one of the game’s elite position players.
But he’s not the only one who can contribute in that department.
A short list of players who have the tools to become a solid defensive shortstop includes David Ortiz, Ryan Howard, and Andrew McCutchen.
If the Nationals choose to pursue a veteran shortstop, there are a few players who might be available.
They include left-hander Mike Minor, right-hander Aaron Harang, left-handed reliever John Axford, and infielder Aaron Nola.
Harper’s bat makes him a good fit in the Nationals’ defense.
He’s a career .255 hitter with a .320 on-base percentage and .333 slugging percentage in parts of six seasons with the Nationals.
Harper will have to be an effective hitter in the majors to justify a five-year, $60 million deal.
He needs to hit, steal, and hit for power.
But if he does all that, he should be an attractive prospect to teams looking to move up.
Here are the players on the list who the Nationals should consider if they are looking for a long term shortstop.
Major League Baseball’s players’ union will have a ranking of the players who the league would like to have in the front offices.
Harper would be one of those players.
His career numbers are better than those of most other top position players at the position, but he’s still one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops.
Harper has shown flashes of being a top-of-the-rotation defender.
He batted .271/.345/.485 with a slash line of .336/.398/.579 in his career.
That’s not good, but it’s not terrible either.
Harper hit a career-high .307/.383/.534 against left-handers in 2013.
That year, he also was a .323 hitter with eight home runs.
He was also worth 5.3 runs above average, which is more than a third of the league average.
Harper also has a career OPS+ of 113, so he’s a solid defender.
However, Harper’s numbers are a bit misleading.
He doesn’t have a very good defensive line.
He can be a very solid defender against righties, but his glove and feet are not that good.
He struggles to pull the ball in and out of the strike zone.
That might be one reason why Harper’s average OBP is below average.
That also doesn’t mean Harper is not a solid base-runner.
He has an average career home run rate, which puts him right around league average when you look at his career batting average against right-handed pitchers.
His average on-field power, however, is not much better.
Harper doesn’t put the ball on the ground very well.
He does have a good arm, but that’s not necessarily enough to produce consistent power.
He is a pretty average baserunner, too.
Harper ranks just 22nd among all qualified hitters in OBP.
That doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’s not an effective defender, though.
Harper did have an impressive defensive season last year, so it’s hard to imagine him becoming a poor defender all the time.
But his overall defense is just average.
Major league shortstop depth is also an issue.
In his career, Harper has hit the ball to all fields and the outfield.
He also has shown a propensity to make mistakes on defense.
When he’s on the field, Harper is also a great base runner, as he’s always going to be able to get a lot of ground balls.
Harper should be a nice addition for a team looking to improve its defense next year and beyond.
Harper was an outstanding player at the plate last year.
But that doesn’t translate into good defense.
There’s a good chance he’ll be an average defender, too, so his value will be limited.
There are some very good players in the game.
In this case, Harper will be one.
He will have the ability to be one, and he’s likely one of them.
He should be considered a quality player.
The Washington Capitals signed a free agent shortstop, Alex Ovechkin, to a five year, $42 million deal in 2018.
The Capitals are also looking to make a move up in the free agent rankings, as they signed infielder Alex Avila to a three-year contract.
Alex Aleva is a right-hitting outfielder who has a .285/.350/.487 slash line in parts to seven seasons with Washington. A