MLB free agency: Did Bryce Harper hint he wants to sign with Dodgers?

Dalton Johnson
NBC Sports BayArea

MLB free agency: Did Bryce Harper hint he wants to sign with Dodgers? originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

Did Christmas come early for Dodgers fans? The actual gift might arrive after Dec. 25, but Bryce Harper would be worth the wait. 

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On Saturday, Major League Baseball's Instagram account posted a photo asking if the Dodgers are the favorites to sign the superstar free agent. None other than Harper himself liked the post

After being exposed, Harper has since un-liked the photo. 

Everyone is wondering where Harper will wind up next season. As ridiculous as scanning someone's trends on social media is, the timing makes a ton of sense. 

After trading Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Reds on Friday, the Dodgers have an opening in their outfield -- and significantly more space on their payroll. In the seven-player swap, the Dodgers moved more than $70 million and saved roughly $17 million off their luxury-tax payroll. 

As of publish, the Dodgers' payroll is around $180 million and they have said in the past they intend to stay under the luxury tax through 2022. That won't be easy, especially if they want to add Harper who is expected to ask for a contract worth north of $30 million per year. 

The Dodgers have a need in the outfield, and after losing in the World Series two consecutive seasons, the former NL MVP could be the answer.

Meanwhile, once the Giants hired Farhan Zaidi, it became clear they would most likely be out of the Harper running. And now the stars are aligning for Harper to head to Hollywood and be an NL West rival for years.

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