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Bryce Harper will not be a Dodger!!!

After rumors linking him to both the Dodgers and Giants, Bryce Harper is now safely outside of the N.L. West for the foreseeable future.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals
Bryce Harper was almost a Dodger
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

It was quite the ride for Padres fans who enjoyed being the toast of baseball for less than a week before the news returned to extensions and deals still to be done:

February 20, 2019

The San Diego Padres secure third baseman Manny Machado with the largest free agent contract in the history of North American sports. The Padres now have an unqualified superstar to fill a position of unquestioned need. Padres fans: Machado-Tatis-Urias infield!?! Pop the champagne already!

MLB: San Deigo Padres-Workouts
One step closer to relevancy!!!
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

February 25, 2019

Los Angeles Dodgers meet with Bryce Harper in Las Vegas. Padres fans: Do the Dodgers ever run out of money?

February 26, 2019

The Colorado Rockies agree to an extension with defensive wiz Nolan Arenado. Padres fans: Rockies aren’t giving up. Arenado is one of the only players who can give Machado a run for his money as the best third baseman in baseball, and he’s staying in the division...

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Angels at Colorado Rockies
Who’s the best third baseman in the N.L. West?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly concerned that Harper would choose the Dodgers if the teams offered similar deals. Padres fans: No, please no.

February 27, 2019

The Dodgers are now listed as the favorites in the Harper Sweepstakes. Padres fans: Can we ever catch a break? Isn’t it enough that the Dodgers roll out a rookie of the year EVERY SINGLE SEASON? Now they are going to add Harper to Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager and Justin Turner?

MLB: World Series-Houston Astros at Los Angeles Dodgers
Nightmare scenario: Dodgers add Harper after back-to-back World Series appearances
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

February 28, 2019

The Philadelphia Phillies finally sign Bryce Harper to a mega-contract. Padres fans: Wasn’t even worried. Where’s that champagne?

The Dodgers missing out on Bryce Harper is huge for the Padres future. But, that club has a ton of money coming off the table this year. Don’t expect the boys in blue to sit back and rest on their back-to-back National League Championships.

It is time for the Padres youth to step up. The team has its superstar in Machado and its clubhouse leader in Eric Hosmer. If some of the other pieces can emerge and perform as expected then next offseason could get really hot.

If there is one thing that the Padres front office has proven since 2015, it is not afraid to be aggressive and spend money. Don’t be surprised if the Dodgers and Padres are going toe-to-toe for the cream of next year’s free agent crop.