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Nats GM on keeping Bryce Harper in the majors: ‘We’re not dumb’

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

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Bryce Harper, so far so good (US Presswire)

First of all, let's acknowledge the fact that no person or institution gets to simply declare itself dumb or not dumb. That's for the Internet to decide. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo presumes too much.

That said, take a look at comments made on Friday by Rizzo (via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post):

This afternoon at the National Press Club, Rizzo gave a speech and took questions — the first three of which were about Bryce Harper. Rizzo reiterated the idea that the Nationals were comfortable with sending Harper back to Class AAA Syracuse when they recalled him. But he also acknowledged the obvious.

"We're not dumb, either," Rizzo said. "This guy is performing admirably in the big leagues. We feel he's got a chance to really impact the ball club. He's a special talent. So you have to throw ordinary development curves out the window if you have to. You have to be able to be light on your feet and utilize the assets that you have. If he is performing the way he's performing now, there's no way in hell I can get Davey Johnson to get rid of him."

You might recall that when the 19-year-old Harper was promoted last week, no guarantees were made that he'd stick in the big leagues. After all, he was only hitting .250/.333/.375 at Syracuse at the time of the call-up.

And since that time, all Harper has done is hit.

And make ridiculous catches at the wall.

And fire missiles toward home plate.

Harper has been sensational, and he appears completely at home in the majors. The stage is clearly not too big. Rizzo is right: There's no way in hell the team can demote a player who's on a roll like this. Harper is 6-for-16 at the moment, and four of those hits have gone for extra bases.

In fantasy, it's tempting to say that Harper is the most obvious sell-high candidate in our game. He's a high-buzz rookie, performing at a level that seems impossible for a 19-year-old. But I'll concede that it's also tempting to simply keep the kid on your roster and enjoy the ride.

I currently own Harper in just one league, an NL-only dynasty format where he's nowhere near the trade block. (Unless, hypothetically, the Sharks were willing to put a "Yard Sale" sign on the lawn and make everyone available — including Joey Votto. Because then I'd listen). But if I had Harper in a standard non-keeper format, I'd at least get a price check while the phenom's average is north of .350.

If you've already dealt him (or acquired him), let's please hear some transaction details in comments...

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