Early Rumors On The Bryce Harper Market

Bryce Harper

The 26-year-old slugger is primed to land a massive payday in free agency this offseason, and having reportedly turned down a 10-year, $300 million offer from the Washington Nationals, there's only one team that has a pressing need for his services and is willing to match Harper's desired price. Washington's offer would have been the biggest free agent deal by total money paid in the history of the four major American sports leagues.

At the general managers meetings on Tuesday, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo disclosed that the team had engaged in talks with Harper's agent, Scott Boras.

However, his quick rejection of the deal doesn't exactly inspire hope he'll be returning to Washington.

While Harper could be exploring other options, it's still possible he might return to the Nationals. They can not wait for Harper to make his decision - which many in the industry believe will come no sooner than the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas next month - and miss out on the market.

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"We've had conversations and we utilized our exclusivity to negotiate with him late in the season through when he became eligible to sign with a team", Rizzo said.

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 backup in centre.

In order to add Harper to their roster, the Dodgers' spending would certainly extend beyond the league's $206 million competitive-balance tax threshold for 2019. "But I'm not comfortable with the statement that we're a better team without him".

It's on all of us that we didn't see "Harper's bazaar" coming from a thousand miles away. Even though Harper is still only 26, a 14-year deal with an average annual value of $30 million per season felt a bit excessive. But no position player has ever earned an average annual value of more than $US27.5 million (Alex Rodriguez and Yoenis Cespedes).

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