ESPN analyst Buster Olney has reported that on Saturday, December 9, 2017, the new york yankees finalized a trade with the Miami Marlins, acquiring last season’s NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton. The Yankees parted ways with second-basemen Starlin Castro and a pair of minor-league prospects to bring the larger-than-life slugger to the Bronx.

Marlins fans likely would have expected more in return for their All-star outfielder.

But team executives are relieved to be free of Stanton’s massive salary. MLB has reported that the Yankees will absorb approximately $265 million of the remaining 10-year contract. Miami has agreed to eat the additional $30 million. New York fans are ecstatic about the opportunity to watch a potential historic offensive attack. Adding Stanton to a lineup that already features Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez seems a bit unfair to those making their living as American League pitchers. Judge already seems very excited.

Both the Yankees and the Marlins got what they were looking for with this trade, making the deal a true win-win.

However, current Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper might feel otherwise.

Harper is looking to cash in on free agency next offseason

Since his Major League debut in 2012, Bryce Harper has only played for one team, the Washington Nationals. The 25-year-old is currently scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

Many are anticipating that Harper will command the richest contract in baseball history. Analysts have suggested something in the range of 10-years, $400 million dollars.

The former first overall pick is certainly deserving of baseball’s top salary. He has compiled statistics and achieved accolades that match any player in the league.

In 2012, Harper was voted the NL Rookie of the Year. In 2015, he took home the National League MVP award. With MLB's current salary cap structure, there are only a handful of teams with enough cash to be in the running to obtain Harper’s services in 2018. The Yankees would presumably be one of them. But now that they have taken on Stanton’s hefty contract, they may have other plans for the following offseason.

Harper has always said that he grew up rooting for the Yankees. Signing with the “Bronx Bombers” next year seemed like a foregone conclusion. But suddenly New York has a crowded outfield. More importantly, they may not be in the market for another highly paid position player at the end of the 2018 season.

The team currently has a few question marks regarding their starting pitching.

It would be a wiser allocation of resources to address an aging pitching staff. Another player to consider would be current Baltimore Orioles third baseman, Manny Machado. Machado is the same age as Harper and will also be a free agent next offseason. As an infielder, he may be a more attractive target for the Yankees. It appears that Harper's future odds of ending up in pinstripes may have taken a hit.

Making sense of the dollars and cents

As the New York Post reports, team owner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman have long maintained that their goal this offseason was to get the teams salary cap under the $197 million luxury tax threshold.

After acquiring Stanton that task may be a difficult challenge. Unless they can find a potential trade partner for reserve outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury or third-baseman Chase Headly, they likely will not have enough salary cap space to re-sign veteran pitcher CC Sabathia and address other team needs.

The Yankees can surely afford another season over the luxury tax. But is important to remember that the current cap structure features a “repeater tax”. That won’t reset anytime soon if they cannot find a way to get their payroll under $197 million this upcoming season. Former Yankee team owner George Steinbrenner ran the team until he passed away in 2010. Obsessed with winning and star power, “The Boss” never seemed to have much interest in the financials.

His son Hal aims for a different approach.

The Yankees transactions and salary cap goals are important for Bryce Harper and his agent Scott Boras to monitor for one reason. As one of the wealthiest teams in the sports, New York often dictate the free-agent market. Not having the Yankees in on the bidding has the potential to lose the superstar a substantial amount of money. It is not impossible that to imagine Harper re-signing with the Nationals, however, that seems unlikely.

Every organization in the league will be interested in signing the talented outfielder next fall. There are several franchises, including the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs, to name a few, that will have the financial capability to offer a max contract.

But having the looming threat of the New York Yankees in the discussion often tends to encourage other interested teams not to waste time with low ball offers. The super-agent Boras knows this all too well, having negotiated contracts with MLB executives for the better part of the past four decades. It is interesting to note that Boras also represents Jacoby Ellsbury. It is fair to wonder if he will encourage the veteran outfielder to waive his no-trade clause and accept a deal out of New York as Boras looks ahead to the potential Harper pay-day down the road.

Giancarlo Stanton and the New York Yankees certainly have a lot to celebrate this holiday season. It is safe to assume Bryce Harper and Scott Boras will not be feeling as cheerful after hearing the recent news.