Report: Nationals made Bryce Harper an 'aggressive offer'

Chris Lingebach
November 06, 2018 - 7:19 pm
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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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The Nationals reportedly made Bryce Harper an "aggressive offer" on the final day of the 2018 season, Chelsea Janes reports for The Washington Post, an offer Harper has not accepted.

According to Janes:

According to multiple people familiar with the negotiations, the Nationals discussed terms for a new deal with Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, throughout September. Those conversations led to what one person called “an aggressive offer.” That offer included no opt-outs, and was less than the $400 million some have speculated Harper could receive, according to a person with direct knowledge who would not disclose the exact terms.

Harper not accepting the offer does not rule out a reunion, Janes is careful to note, allowing, "Harper can explore pitches from other teams, well-aware of what the Nationals have to offer, and decide from there."

Bob Nightengale reports the Nationals' offer to Harper was for an approximate average annual value of $30 million.

With that figure in mind as a baseline, and Janes reporting Washington's offer was for less then $400 million, it could have been in the range of 10 years, $300 million, although that's strictly speculation. That could leave a window of about $100 million the Nats are left to close between themselves and the competition for Harper. Or greater.

Giancarlo Stanton's 13-year, $325 million contract is the largest in MLB history. Janes reports Harper is expected to command more than that on the open market.

"But people involved with the process indicated the front office held a genuine interest in consummating a deal with Harper, if an awareness of their relative financial limitations," Janes writes.

Because they could not agree on a deal, she writes, the Nats will likely now have to engage in a bidding war to retain Harper's services.

Janes is now reporting the full details of the offer: 10 years, $300 million, with no opt-outs. If signed, it would have been the biggest free agent deal in the history of the four major spots. 

 

Per Nightengale, this offer is no longer on the table, but the Nats could still approach Harper and Boras to resume negotiations.

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