If we have learned nothing from the last few years, it is that winners in MLB are built through hustle. Despite common thought that championships are built through a talented roster, or great pitching, or talent and pitching. No, championships are built through hustle. Not from the type of hustle you might assume: Going from first to third on a fielders choice or going full speed to pick up and throw a base hit grounder to 2nd base from left field. No, the type of hustle that builds championships is running out a tapper to the pitcher where you are out by 45 feet. Bryce Harper is really good at the first type of hustle, so much so that Nationals built an advertising campaign around it: “Nothing but Hustle.”” It’s that 2nd type of important hustle, the kind that demonstrates you care, but doesn’t actually help the team at all that Harper no longer has the heart for.
It is not without precedent to trade a number one overall pick; Matt Williams’ Arizona Diamondbacks did it just last year. Justin Upton was a significantly more accomplished player than Harper when he was traded. Upton fininishd 4th in the MVP race and won a Silver Slugger in 2011, but he was traded after the 2012 season.
Right now is a good time to make the trade before Harper proves himself to be an incurable lollygagger. I would recommend the Red Sox as the ideal trade partner. They have the deepest farm system in baseball and they have a history of dealing with strong personality players. They were able to win multiple World Series with Manny Ramirez–dealing with Bryce Harper would be kids play. On an additional note, Bryce would get to play his games in a division that matters enough to have games on ESPN and he has always wanted to play in Yankee Stadium. He might actually get to play in a few World Series games and the Nats won’t feel obliged to play such an overrated* bum. The sooner the Nats get rid of the Harper scourge the better.
*as voted by his peers