There’s a sense within the Nationals organization that it may not be possible to reach agreement with outfielder Bryce Harper on a long-term deal to keep him from reaching free agency after the 2018 season, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. A team source says that the club believes Harper is looking for a deal in excess of ten years and $400M — though it does not appear he has actually made such a specific request. That level of contract would apparently be a non-starter for the team, which is perhaps not surprising after Harper failed to repeat his outstanding 2015 campaign. Despite the chatter on the polarizing star, agent Scott Boras says that he has yet to discuss a long- term arrangement with the Nationals, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Nats GM Mike Rizzo declined to comment on the subject, as Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post tweets. Whatever situation may or may not exist involving a Harper extension, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports that Harper isn’t the subject of any active trade talks.
Some more news out of Washington…
- Also from Nightengale’s piece, he reports that the Nationals asked the Rays about Kevin Kiermaier but “consider the asking price exorbitant.” Arguably the game’s best defensive player, Kiermaier has generated 13.1 fWAR over the last three seasons and is under team control through 2020, so it is very understandable that Tampa wants a huge return for Kiermaier’s services.
- Both Nightengale and FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman report that the Nats are willing to discuss prized righty Lucas Giolito, with Heyman noting that Giolito’s name has surfaced in talks with the White Sox about Chris Sale. If D.C. is unwilling to part with either Trea Turner or Victor Robles, one would think that Giolito would almost have to be involved in a potential Sale trade, as Chicago surely wouldn’t part with its ace without landing at least one blue-chip youngster.
- The Nats have found the Pirates’ asking price on Andrew McCutchen to be too high, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. This doesn’t necessarily close the door on a McCutchen trade, though Sherman writes that the Nationals are reportedly more focused on other options, including a deal for Sale.
- Despite some rumors to the contrary, the Nationals aren’t planning to flip catcher Derek Norris and then pursue Matt Wieters, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports.