Bryce Harper Reportedly Rejected 10-Year, $300 Million Deal From Nationals
The next chapter of Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper begins with a declarative statement regarding his time in Washington: the unanimous 2015 MVP declined a huge (reportedly $300 million) extension from the team, instead electing to test the free agent market.
The September 26th deal was the product of several negotiation efforts between Harper and the Nats, overseen by the superstar agent Scott Boras, notorious for fishing large sums for his clients. Many speculated Harper could receive as much as $400 million, which would dwarf Giancarlo Stanton‘s record $325 million deal. Harper and Boras either want a mammoth sum that the Nationals aren’t willing to offer, or Harper just wants out of D.C. and is looking to suit up for another big city.
Several executives and scouts are adamant that the big city Harper will find himself in is just up the road in Philadelphia. The Phillies, the team with the most desperate need for a star after significantly improving in the 2018 season, are huge favorites to sign Harper, as other proposed suitors like the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs are potentially out of the running. His current team was the favorite up until the reported decline.
The Nationals are still consistent in their pursuit of the star, who spent seven years with the team. General Manager Mike Rizzo insisted that the team is “not closing any doors.”
“We didn’t get anything done,” he said. “but he’s a guy that is near and dear to us and we are not closing any doors.”
Friday’s 5 p.m. EST deadline for the qualifying offer will be the start of the free agency frenzy, and more lucrative details will emerge then.