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Could Bryce Harper sign with the Yankees? Nationals star stays coy on free agency plans

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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale discusses the Nationals’ hot streak, if they can compete with the Yankees, and how much trouble the Dodgers are in. USA TODAY Sports

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WASHINGTON — December’s acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton was yet another reminder about the Yankees and available superstar players.

Never count them out.

So, despite the presence of Stanton and Aaron Judge, the Yankees— having reset their financials under the luxury tax— must to be in the conversation about Bryce Harper when he’s a free agent this November.

The conversation about Harper possibly being fitted for pinstripes was naturally in the air on Tuesday, when the Yankees arrived at Nationals Park for a two-game series.

It’ll pick up again next month, when Harper and the Nationals visit Yankee Stadium.

“I’m a National,” Harper said at his locker on Tuesday. Winning a series, “is the only thing on my mind. Just trying to beat a good team over there.”

Asked if he’s paid attention to the Yankees’ roster construction lately, Harper replied: “Not much.”

MORE MLB:

Could he fit with the Yankees? Sure.

Brett Gardner is on the final year of a guaranteed contract, fellow Mantle fan Clint Frazier could be moved in a trade for pitching, and Jacoby Ellsbury is a non-factor despite a contract that runs through 2020.

With Aaron Hicks in center, the rotation of Judge, Stanton and Harper around the corner outfield and designated hitter spots could work.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone would not talk about another club’s player, naturally. But speaking generally about the Yankees’ pursuit of excellence, Boone said:

“Look, we’re the New York Yankees and I know from the Steinbrenner family on down to Brian Cashman, we’re never going to be bashful about trying to make our team the best.

“Whether that’s improving our farm system, drafting and developing…to being active in free agency, being active in the trade market…we’re always going to be aggressive and feel like we’re in a position to do things that give us a chance to be a great club.”

And Harper would only cost money— about $400 million, it seems.

But like Manny Machado, he’ll be the rare star free agent who is entering the market at the start of his prime.

Right now, Harper is concentrating on the Nats’ season and enjoying the competition against another team with October dreams.

Blast off! Players with multiple homers in 2018 regular-season games

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May 14: Niko Goodrum, Tigers, 2 vs. Indians.

May 14: Niko Goodrum, Tigers, 2 vs. Indians.  Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports
May 13: Mark Reynolds, Nationals, 2 vs. Diamondbacks.

May 13: Mark Reynolds, Nationals, 2 vs. Diamondbacks.  Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports
May 13: Joey Rickard, Orioles, 2 vs. Rays

May 13: Joey Rickard, Orioles, 2 vs. Rays  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports
May 12: Trevor Story, Rockies, 2 vs. Brewers.

May 12: Trevor Story, Rockies, 2 vs. Brewers.  Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports
May 12: Freddie Freeman, Braves, 2 at Marlins.

May 12: Freddie Freeman, Braves, 2 at Marlins.  Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports
May 12: Francisco Lindor, 2 vs. Royals.

May 12: Francisco Lindor, Indians, 2 vs. Royals.  Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports
May 12: Manny Machado, Orioles, 2 vs. Rays.

May 12: Manny Machado, Orioles, 2 vs. Rays.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports
May 11: Luke Maile, Blue Jays, 2 vs. Red Sox.

May 11: Luke Maile, Blue Jays, 2 vs. Red Sox.  John E. Sokolowski, USA TODAY Sports
May 11: Manny Machado, Orioles, 2 vs. Rays.

May 11: Manny Machado, Orioles, 2 vs. Rays.  Evan Habeeb, USA TODAY Sports
May 11: Willson Contreras, Cubs, 2 vs. White Sox.

May 11: Willson Contreras, Cubs, 2 vs. White Sox.  Matt Marton, USA TODAY Sports
May 10: Kyle Seager, right, Mariners at Blue Jays

May 10: Kyle Seager, Mariners, 2 at Blue Jays  Dan Hamilton, USA TODAY Sports
May 9: Nomar Mazara, Rangers, 2 vs. Tigers

May 9: Nomar Mazara, Rangers, 2 vs. Tigers  Ray Carlin, USA TODAY Sports
May 8: Welington Castillo, White Sox, 2 vs. Pirates.

May 8: Welington Castillo, White Sox, 2 vs. Pirates.  Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports
May 8: Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees, 2 vs. Red Sox.

May 8: Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees, 2 vs. Red Sox.  Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports
May 8: Mike Moustakas, Royals, 2 at Orioles.

May 8: Mike Moustakas, Royals, 2 at Orioles.  Evan Habeeb, USA TODAY Sports
May 7: Matt Adams, Nationals, 2 at Padres.

May 7: Matt Adams, Nationals, 2 at Padres.  Jake Roth, USA TODAY Sports
May 7: Ian Happ, Cubs, 2 vs. Marlins.

May 7: Ian Happ, Cubs, 2 vs. Marlins.  Matt Marton, USA TODAY Sports
May 7: Adrian Gonzalez, Mets, 2 at Reds.

May 7: Adrian Gonzalez, Mets, 2 at Reds.  David Kohl, USA TODAY Sports
May 7: Odúbel Herrera, Phillies, 2 vs. Giants.

May 7: Odúbel Herrera, Phillies, 2 vs. Giants.  Eric Hartline, USA TODAY Sports
May 6: Ian Desmond, Rockies, 2 at Mets

May 6: Ian Desmond, Rockies, 2 at Mets  Gregory Fisher, USA TODAY Sports
May 5: Joey Gallo, Rangers, 2 vs. Red Sox.

May 5: Joey Gallo, Rangers, 2 vs. Red Sox.  Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports
May 5: Tim Anderson, White Sox, 2 vs. Twins.

May 5: Tim Anderson, White Sox, 2 vs. Twins.  Matt Marton, USA TODAY Sports
May 4: Brian Dozier, Twins, 2 at White Sox

May 4: Brian Dozier, Twins, 2 at White Sox  Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports
May 4: Mookie Betts, Red Sox, 2 at Rangers

May 4: Mookie Betts, Red Sox, 2 at Rangers  Jim Cowsert, USA TODAY Sports
May 4: Bryce Harper, Nationals, 2 vs. Phillies

May 4: Bryce Harper, Nationals, 2 vs. Phillies  Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports
May 3: Francisco Lindor, Indians, 2 vs. Blue Jays

May 3: Francisco Lindor, Indians, 2 vs. Blue Jays  David Richard, USA TODAY Sports
May 2: Mookie Betts, Red Sox, 3 vs. Royals

May 2: Mookie Betts, Red Sox, 3 vs. Royals  Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports
May 2: Edwin Encarnacion, Indians, 3 vs. Rangers

May 2: Edwin Encarnacion, Indians, 3 vs. Rangers  David Richard, USA TODAY Sports
May 2: Nolan Arenado, Rockies, 2 at Cubs

May 2: Nolan Arenado, Rockies, 2 at Cubs  Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports
May 2: Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees, 2 at Astros

May 2: Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees, 2 at Astros  Erik Williams, USA TODAY Sports
May 1: Matt Adams, Nationals, 2 vs. Pirates.

May 1: Matt Adams, Nationals, 2 vs. Pirates.  Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Toronto Blue Jays

May 1, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Kendrys Morales (8) hits a home run in the fifth inning against Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports  Brad Rempel, USA TODAY Sports
April 30: A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks, 3 vs. Dodgers

April 30: A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks, 3 vs. Dodgers  Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports
April 29: Cheslor Cuthbert, Royals, 2 vs. White Sox.

April 29: Cheslor Cuthbert, Royals, 2 vs. White Sox.  Peter G. Aiken, USA TODAY Sports
April 29: Ryon Healy, Mariners, 2 vs. Indians.

April 29: Ryon Healy, Mariners, 2 vs. Indians.  David Richard, USA TODAY Sports
April 28: Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays, 2 vs. Rangers

April 28: Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays, 2 vs. Rangers  Nick Turchiaro, USA TODAY Sports
April 28: David Peralta, Diamondbacks, 2 at Nationals

April 28: David Peralta, Diamondbacks, 2 at Nationals  Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports
April 27: Matt Davidson, right, White Sox, 2 at Royals

April 27: Matt Davidson, right, White Sox, 2 at Royals  Peter G. Aiken, USA TODAY Sports
April 27: Jose Peraza, Reds, 2 at Twins

April 27: Jose Peraza, Reds, 2 at Twins  Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports
April 27: Odubel Herrera, right, Phillies, 2 vs. Braves

April 27: Odubel Herrera, right, Phillies, 2 vs. Braves  Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports
April 27: Pedro Alvarez, right, Orioles, 2 vs. Tigers

April 27: Pedro Alvarez, right, Orioles, 2 vs. Tigers  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports
April 26: Matt Davidson, White Sox, 2 at Royals

April 26: Matt Davidson, White Sox, 2 at Royals  Peter G. Aiken, USA TODAY Sports
April 25: J.T. Realmuto, Marlins, 2 vs. Dodgers.

April 25: J.T. Realmuto, Marlins, 2 vs. Dodgers.  Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports
April 25: Mookie Betts, right, Red Sox, 2 at Blue Jays

April 25: Mookie Betts, right, Red Sox, 2 at Blue Jays  Dan Hamilton, USA TODAY Sports
April 24: Andrelton Simmons, Angels, 2 at Astros

April 24: Andrelton Simmons, Angels, 2 at Astros  Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
April 24: Scooter Gennett, Reds, 2 vs. Braves

April 24: Scooter Gennett, Reds, 2 vs. Braves  David Kohl, USA TODAY Sports
April 24: Freddie Freeman, Braves, 2 at Reds

April 24: Freddie Freeman, Braves, 2 at Reds  David Kohl, USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher

April 24: Gary Sanchez, Yankees, 2 vs. Twins  Noah K. Murray, USA TODAY Sports
April 24: Kyle Schwarber, Cubs, 2 at Indians

April 24: Kyle Schwarber, Cubs, 2 at Indians  Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports
April 23: Jose Abreu, White Sox, 2 vs. Mariners.

April 23: Jose Abreu, White Sox, 2 vs. Mariners.  David Banks, USA TODAY Sports
April 22: Jose Ramirez, Indians, 2 at Orioles

April 22: Jose Ramirez, Indians, 2 at Orioles  Evan Habeeb, USA TODAY Sports
April 22: Manny Machado, Orioles, 2 vs. Indians

April 22: Manny Machado, Orioles, 2 vs. Indians  Evan Habeeb, USA TODAY Sports
April 21: Josh Reddick, middle, Astros, 2 at White

April 21: Josh Reddick, middle, Astros, 2 at White Sox  Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports
April 21: C.J. Cron, Rays, 2 vs. Twins

April 21: C.J. Cron, right, Rays, 2 vs. Twins  Douglas DeFelice, USA TODAY Sports
April 20: Carlos Correa, Astros, 2 at White Sox

April 20: Carlos Correa, Astros, 2 at White Sox  Mike Dinovo, USA TODAY Sports
April 19: Lewis Brinson, Marlins, 2 at Brewers

April 19: Lewis Brinson, Marlins, 2 at Brewers  Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports
April 19: Manny Machado, Orioles, 2 at Tigers

April 19: Manny Machado, Orioles, 2 at Tigers  Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports
April 18: Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, 2 at Mets

April 18: Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, 2 at Mets  Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports
April 17: Mookie Betts, Red Sox, 2 homers at Angels

April 17: Mookie Betts, Red Sox, 3 at Angels  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports
April 16: Didi Gregorius, 2 vs. Marlins

April 16: Didi Gregorius, 2 vs. Marlins  Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports
A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks, 2 vs. Dodgers.

April 14: A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks, 2 vs. Dodgers.  Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports
Greg Garcia, Cardinals, 2 vs. Reds.

April 14: Greg Garcia, Cardinals, 2 vs. Reds.  David Kohl, USA TODAY Sports
April 13: George Springer, Astros, 2 vs. Rangers

April 13: George Springer, Astros, 2 vs. Rangers  Erik Williams, USA TODAY Sports
April 13: Todd Frazier, Mets, 2 vs. Brewers

April 13: Todd Frazier, Mets, 2 vs. Brewers  Noah K. Murray, USA TODAY Sports
April 13: Aaron Hicks, Yankees, 2 at Tigers

April 13: Aaron Hicks, Yankees, 2 at Tigers  Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports
April 12: DJ LeMahieu, Rockies, 2 homers at Nationals

April 12: DJ LeMahieu, Rockies, 2 homers at Nationals  Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports
April 12: Gregory Polanco (25) celebrates his home

April 12: Gregory Polanco, Pirates, 2 homers at Cubs  Jim Young, USA TODAY Sports
April 11: Javy Baez, Cubs, 2 homers vs. Pirates

April 11: Javy Baez, Cubs, 2 homers vs. Pirates  Jim Young, USA TODAY Sports
April 11: Gary Sánchez, Yankees, 2 homers vs. Red Sox

April 11: Gary Sánchez, Yankees, 2 homers vs. Red Sox  Winslow Townson, USA TODAY Sports
April 11: Max Kepler, Twins, 2 homers vs. Astros

April 11: Max Kepler, Twins, 2 homers vs. Astros  Jeffrey Becker, USA TODAY Sports
April 11: Kurt Suzuki, Braves, 2 homers vs. Nationals

April 11: Kurt Suzuki, Braves, 2 homers vs. Nationals  Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports
April 10: Asdrubal Cabrera, Mets, 2 homers at Marlins

April 10: Asdrubal Cabrera, Mets, 2 homers at Marlins  Wilfredo Lee, AP
April 10: Javier Baez, Cubs, 2 homers vs. Pirates

April 10: Javier Baez, Cubs, 2 homers vs. Pirates  Dennis Wierzbicki, USA TODAY Sports
April 10: Justin Bour, Marlins, 2 homers vs. Mets

April 10: Justin Bour, Marlins, 2 homers vs. Mets  Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles third

April 6: Manny Machado, Orioles, 2 homers at Yankees  Andy Marlin, USA TODAY Sports
April 3: Christian Villanueva, Padres, 3 vs. Rockies

April 3: Christian Villanueva, Padres, 3 homers vs. Rockies  Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports
April 3: Josh Reddick, Astros, 2 vs. Orioles

April 3: Josh Reddick, Astros, 2 homers vs. Orioles  Thomas B. Shea, USA TODAY Sports
April 3: Didi Gregorius, Yankees, 2 homers vs. Rays

April 3: Didi Gregorius, Yankees, 2 homers vs. Rays  Gregory Fisher, USA TODAY Sports
April 2: Welington Castillo, White Sox, 2 homers at

April 2: Welington Castillo, White Sox, 2 homers at Blue Jays  Nick Turchiaro, USA TODAY Sports
April 1: Bryce Harper, Nationals, 2 homers at Reds

April 1: Bryce Harper, Nationals, 2 homers at Reds  David Kohl, USA TODAY Sports
April 1: Justin Smoak, Blue Jays, 2 homers vs. Yankees

April 1: Justin Smoak, Blue Jays, 2 homers vs. Yankees  Dan Hamilton, USA TODAY Sports
April 1: Edwin Encarnacion, Indians, 2 homers at Mariners

April 1: Edwin Encarnacion, Indians, 2 homers at Mariners  Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY Sports
April 1: Paul DeJong, Cardinals, 2 homers at Mets

April 1: Paul DeJong, Cardinals, 2 homers at Mets  Wendell Cruz, USA TODAY Sports
April 1: Brian Dozier, Twins, 2 homers at Orioles

April 1: Brian Dozier, Twins, 2 homers at Orioles  Mitch Stringer, USA TODAY Sports
March 31: Charlie Blackmon, Rockies, 2 homers at Diamondbacks

March 31: Charlie Blackmon, Rockies, 2 homers at Diamondbacks  Joe Camporeale, USA TODAY Sports
March 31: Tyler Austin, Yankees, 2 homers at Blue Jays

March 31: Tyler Austin, Yankees, 2 homers at Blue Jays  Gerry Angus, USA TODAY Sports
March 29: Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees, 2 homers at Blue

March 29: Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees, 2 homers at Blue Jays  Nick Turchiaro, USA TODAY Sports
March 29: Tim Anderson, White Sox, 2 home runs at Royals

March 29: Tim Anderson, White Sox, 2 home runs at Royals  Jay Biggerstaff, USA TODAY Sports
March 29: Matt Davidson, White Sox, 3 homers at Royals

March 29: Matt Davidson, White Sox, 3 homers at Royals  Jay Biggerstaff, USA TODAY Sports

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