Bryce Harper turned down 10-year, $300 million offer from Nationals

May JohnsonNov 10, 2018

The deal would have been the second-richest in Major League Baseball history, trailing only Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins signed in 2014, and the third-richest in sports history. Teams do make token offers now and then, to save face or push the price up for rivals. The 26-year-old All-Star is one of 164 free agents on the market, but he's going to make more than anyone else available. But players of Harper's caliber rarely reach free agency.

The first time was before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, and the second was when they claimed him before the waiver deadline but the Washington Nationals pulled Harper back, as expected. As Nightengale notes, the Nationals were thought to be able to retain Harper up until that report.

It was reported Wednesday that Bryce Harper turned down a 10-year, $300 million contract offer from the Washington Nationals, the team's seemingly final attempt to keep him from exploring the free agent market.

The two sides were obviously unable to agree on a deal. Indeed, the Nationals need starting pitching, a catcher and to upgrade their bench.

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If Harper signs elsewhere, the Nationals' outfield next season will consist of Juan Soto in left field, Victor Robles in centre and Adam Eaton in right field, with former Gold Glove finalist Michael A. Taylor as a back-up in centre.

Obviously the Yankees could afford to sign either one of them anyway, especially after re-setting their luxury tax at a lower rate by staying under the $197 million threshold in 2018.

"I'm comfortable with the alternative [to signing Harper]", Rizzo said. "There is a reality that we would love to sign him, but we may not". For the moment, it seems he and Boras will explore options elsewhere.

Importantly for any future negotiations, Harper's deal would not be the largest in baseball history by average annual value. Max Scherzer got exactly $30 million.

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