Rizzo: No 'ongoing discussions' with Harper or Boras

Ben Krimmel
February 22, 2019 - 11:27 am
Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo says there are no ongoing discussions with Bryce Harper.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With no end in sight, the Bryce Harper Sweepstakes drags on.

Friday Washington Nationals general manger Mike Rizzo did not definitively shut the door when asked by Grant & Danny if the Nationals were out or had turned the page on re-signing the free agent outfielder.

"You know, we never turned a page," Rizzo told 106.7 The Fan. "We wouldn't be doing our job if we eliminated segments of the free agent population, especially, you know, players that have that much ability level and that we know fulfill all of the characteristics that we want in a player." 

While the door is not shut, discussions between the team, Harper, and his agent Scott Boras are not in progress.

"No, we're not having ongoing discussions," Rizzo said. "They know my phone number."

Of course, Boras may not have called Rizzo's phone for some time, as it was learned earlier Friday morning Nationals managing principal owner Mark Lerner said he hasn't heard from Harper's representatives for months.

"I have no clue at this point what they're up to. We really haven't heard from them in a couple months," Lerner told NBC Sports Washington.

Lerner also reiterated what he told 106.7 The Fan in December that the team had moved on from Harper.

"We've moved on. As I said back then and we had to. There was no way we could wait around," Lerner said Friday. "Bryce, I'm sure will make his decision hopefully in the next few days, but we've filled out our roster and like I said, we wish him nothing but the best."

For his part, Rizzo is not worried about not having the 2015 NL MVP on his roster and is confident in the team he's constructed.

"We've added a lot of free agents, we made a couple of trades. We've turned over about, you know, almost 30, 40 percent of the roster. But we had a lot of holes to fill, we lost a lot of guys in free agency and had to patch that thing together and put together a club that we could be proud of that can take back the National League East and play deep into the fall," Rizzo said.

However, no team is ever really out of the Bryce Harper Sweepstakes. 

"But there's always that, the door's cracked a little bit," Lerner said.

And, for Rizzo, it could be a matter of making the money work.

"They have to fit within your parameters, you know, everyone's got a budget, everyone's gotta pinch pennies, and look, our payroll is about $175 million this year," Rizzo said. "We've dealt with them for a long time and we're in a position that they recognize that we've got ourselves a great team. We've put together a product that we can be proud of and that can compete. And I think that right now we're in a position that we can win."

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