Chris Russell: Did Nats make Bryce Harper last-minute offer?

Chris Lingebach
February 15, 2019 - 8:48 pm
Chris Russell: Did Nats make Bryce Harper last-minute offer?

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Bryce Harper is toying with his Instagram followers again, with an innocuous little comment on the account of Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins.

As always, this could be something or it could be nothing. But it was at least enough to get 106.7 The Fan's Chris Russell to drop some more knowledge on Harper's free agency.

Friday morning, Russell reported that Harper had made his decision. Now, Russell says on 106.7 The Fan, one team Harper previously eliminated may have jumped in with an "aggressive" last-minute offer.

Russell, you'll remember, was first to report in January that a new 'mystery team' had entereed into the equation, just as everyone in Philly was expecting a video game to announce he'd signed with the Phillies. That mystery team was later revealed to be the Padres.

"From what I can gather, from talking to my sources," Russell said, "I think the Nationals still have a chance here at being 'the team' if they jumped in at the very last moment with a last-second offer."

"Are they allowed to still match with a last-second offer," asked his co-host, Erin Hawksworth.

"That's what I was led to believe," Russell said. "Now, what I believe, and what I heard, was that Bryce had made a decision. Now, what that decision was… I don't know what team he chose. Nobody knows that. Nobody else seems to be reporting that he's made a decision."

The bottom line, he said, is Harper "could have made a decision and then they're ironing out the contract, which could take a couple of days."

"Then on top of that, what could have happened, and what I think may have happened," he added, "is that they started to tell at least one of the team's that he was not going to them. 'Hey, we've made a decision to go with somebody else.' And then that team that is now eliminated jumps up their offer and gets aggressive at the last second."

"Now is that team the Nationals? I don't know. I don't know," Russell said. "But that would be pretty typical of the Nationals, for 92-year-old Ted Lerner to jump in there at the last second, when he doesn't think Bryce Harper is officially coming back."

"I think it will be done officially by Monday," Russell added in a later segment.

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