Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

‘Bank On It’: Phillies Lead Race To Sign Bryce Harper, Report Says

Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals Modal Trigger Bryce Harper Getty Images
Shannon Reynolds | 09 November, 2018, 19:44

According to reports, the Nats' offer is now off the table, but the team is still open to a deal.

It was reported Wednesday that Bryce Harper turned down a 10-year, $300 million contract offer from the Washington Nationals, the team's seemingly final attempt to keep him from exploring the free agent market. The Nationals reportedly made Harper a huge long-term offer at the end of the regular season, but he declined it. Harper's agent, Scott Boras, has a history of extending contract talks with his free agent players beyond the holiday season.

"Because the player is entering the prime of his career you're really talking about a unique and rare opportunity", Boras said.

Nightengale now says that the Dodgers aren't interested in Harper, and the Cubs, ironically, seemed to put a dent in their chances to be able to afford Harper when they exercised Cole Hamels' $20 million option for 2019 last week.

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The 26-year-old All-Star is one of 164 free agents on the market, but he's going to make more than anyone else available. 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. Nightengale says that Harper is seeking a 13-year deal that tops the average annual value of $34.42 million that Zack Greinke now has in his deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The richest sports contract in history belongs to boxer Canelo Alvarez, who signed a five-year, 11-fight deal with streaming platform DAZN worth a minimum of $365 million in October. "He has done a lot in the game already, and he is just scratching the surface". Harper posted a slash line of.249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs in 2018, and has a.900 career OPS with 184 homers.

The general consensus at the GM meetings had the Phillies as favorites to land Bryce Harper.

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