Maybe Nationals OF Bryce Harper has a place on the Yankees after all.
The Yankees' outfield is obviously stacked, and adding the All-Star Harper to the mix doesn't make sense. But the 25-year-old, who is expected to be a free agent after this season, may have a solution to that.
Harper was seen taking ground balls at first base prior to the Nationals' matchup against the Red Sox. It was upon Harper's request to manager Dave Martinez to take practice in the infield, a place in the field he hasn't seen over his 850 career games.
Martinez said Harper is just trying to break out of his comfort zone, and he admits he didn't do a bad job.
"It's just kind of him getting outside of his comfort zone and doing something different," he told The Post's Greg Joyce. "And he's actually not bad. I don't know if he'll ever start a game there, but I believe if we're in a pinch, some kind of decisions in-game, he probably could play there. So it was good to see him out there feeling good working with [infield coach Tim Bogar]. Like I said, here's a guy that, lovev him to death because he'll do whatever it takes for this team to win and help win and that's part of who Bryce is."
It is curious, though, that Harper is starting to take a liking to first base after facing the Yankees in a home and away series. New York has had inconsistent play from the likes of Tyler Austin, Neil Walker, and Greg Bird this season. And if Harper wants to make himself more marketable to the team he grew up rooting for, having the ability to play first could intrigue their interest.
This could be a stretch with the Nationals having first-base struggles themselves. But the timing could not be any better for Harper to start breaking in his new glove at first as the Yankees desperately need production from the position.