Feinstein: Nats offer to Harper was 'PR move'

Ben Krimmel
November 10, 2018 - 11:52 am

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

John Feinstein dismissed the Washington Nationals reported 10-year, $300 million contract offer to free agent Bryce Harper as "a simple PR move" by the ball club.  

"It's not surprising that they made the offer," he told The Sports Junkies Friday.

Feinstein dismissed the Nationals offer as a potential face-saving move and critiqued a colleague  at The Washington Post for his praise of Nationals GM Mike Rizzo. 

"Boz in his column...the other day," he began referring to a Thomas Boswell​ column published Thursday. "Boz is always pro-Nats and Mike Rizzo's the greatest general manager in the history of sports, and he's talking about how this was such a great move that the Nats made."

"It was a simple PR move, nothing wrong with that, so that if (Harper) does go elsewhere, (the Nationals) can say, 'Look, we made a huge offer before he hit free agency. We stayed in the game trying to keep him,'" Feinstein said. "And that's completely the right thing to do, there's nothing wrong with it. But to act like this is some kind of great move."

In his column, Boswell wrote: "In the case of Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals, we’re stuck with just such sensible, classy behavior on both sides. And both sides are benefiting."

Boswell goes on to write it is his hope "the Nats and Harper stay on good terms" and the organization is maximizing their chances Harper stays.

Feinstein continued with his critique of Boswell, saying "The other thing that Boz wrote that I found amusing... He was pointing out that (Stephen) Strasburg never went to free agency and gave the Nats a hometown discount."

"They vastly overpaid for Strasburg," Feinstein said. "Not so much the amount per year, although it was high, but the seven years for a pitcher who's always been fragile. And that's why (Scott) Boras took the contract cause nobody else was going to pay that kind of money for that many years. So this notion that it was a hometown discount is just, you know, ridiculous."

While Feinstein was certain about Boswell, he was uncertain about where Harper will end up next season. 

"Boras has done a good job of playing it close to the vest" he said of Harper's agent. "Anybody who says they know –  or think they know –  where Harper's going, I think is lying."

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