In a candid interview with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan, Nationals managing principal owner Mark Lerner cast significant doubt on whether Bryce Harper would return to the organization. While Lerner didn’t comment on the size of the team’s reported last-minute extension offer — it was reported to be worth $300MM over 10 years — he also made it clear that the Nats likely do not have a higher offer in them.
“Well, when we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, ’This is the best we can do,'” said Lerner of the September extension offer. “We went right to the finish line very quickly, and we said, ’If this is of interest to you, please come back to us and we’ll see whether we can finish it up.’ But we just couldn’t afford to put more than that in and still be able to put a team together that had a chance to win the NL East or go farther than that.”
Obviously, Harper and agent Scott Boras passed on the offer in favor of free agency. In the two and a half months since that offer was said to be put forth, the Nationals have added starter Patrick Corbin, catchers Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes, and relievers Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough. Corbin was promised $140MM over a six-year term. Suzuki signed for two years and a total of $10MM, while Gomes is owed $9MM in 2019 and can earn as much as $27MM over the next three seasons by virtue of a pair of club options. Rosenthal received a $7MM guarantee, and Barraclough projects to earn $1.9MM next year.
While Nats president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo reiterated earlier that the club sees its negotiations with Harper as “independent” of the high-dollar signing of Corbin, as MLB.com’s Jamal Collier tweets, Lerner suggested some connectivity. In light of the team’s new commitments, he said, it “may very well be” that the $300MM offer to Harper is now off the table even in the event that he and Boras have a change of heart and wish to accept those terms.
Ultimately, Lerner dumped a big bucket of cold water on the notion of a reunion. “I really don’t expect him to come back at this point,” he stated. “I think they’ve decided to move on. There’s just too much money out there that he’d be leaving on the table. That’s just not Mr. Boras’ MO to leave money on the table.”
That last line may draw some attention, but it also describes the approach of most players and agents in free agency. Plus, Lerner did not express any disappointment at the idea of Harper going elsewhere for a bigger payday. “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for Bryce and Kayla and their family,” he said, “adding that “we have no hard feelings about it.” Neither is Lerner concerned about the state of the Nationals’ outfield unit without Harper, saying it’s a “young, pretty incredible outfield defensively, and certainly with the bat it’s going to be special.”
Of greater interest, really, is the prior line — “there’s just too much money out there that he’d be leaving on the table” — in which Lerner hints that Harper still has good cause to anticipate that he’ll beat the $300MM he had in hand from the Nats. Whether that’s based upon specific knowledge or just his sense of things isn’t clear; regardless, it’s a notable statement from someone as well-placed as anyone to know how the market is developing for a top-shelf free agent represented by Boras (who has negotiated many a deal with the Lerners).
Any team that gives Harper 10+ years is going to regret it. That’s a ridiculous offer to turn down.
I bet they’re regretting it already.
I totally agree. He has had maybe 2 seasons where he actually met expectations
Who didn’t see this coming?
Nationals will be a far better team without him.
Might be the first time ownership did not cave to Scott Boras’ outrageous demands.
Imagine – a sliver of financial responsibility in Washington, DC.
Yeah I agree. Harper is still an incredible player, but to pay him upwards of $30+ million a year when they already have Eaton, Soto, Robles, and even Taylor would just be irresponsible.
Boras did the same on A-Rod’s 2nd free agency. The Yankees talked to A-Rod without Boras being present.
Baseball is a balanced sport……
In football and basketball a coach/team can get the ball into a star player an inordinate percent of the time. In hockey it’s the puck. On defense in those 3 sports a team can funnel the offense to a star player, and even pick off his teammates to help said defender. Or they can cover an O players poor D and visa vesa.
The Nats owner had it right…..
If they pay Harper that money, they can’t field a decent team.
But in baseball a batter can only hit once every 9 guys, and the defense knows when he’s scheduled. On defense a player may have a lot of chances that day or none. Starting pitchers can only play once every 4-6 games. Relief pitchers may appear 3-5 games in a row, but only for a short time, and then they’ll need a rest.
Point being that while one new player can get a solid, contending team over the top one year, unless that team remains intact, the new player quickly loses his impact.
That is why throwing money and years at so-called star free agents seldom pans out well.
Great post. Glad somebody took the time to write it out.
Harper is the Chris Bosh of the MLB. Solid complementary piece that can carry the load for a bit, but not an elite star. Very very good still gets paid, but it’d be a mistake to hand him $30 AAV for a decade. Hewyard’s contract is what he should get….at most.
Not even close to a comparable sport. Unlike baseball, one player actually can win a championship for a team in basketball.
I’d love to know your thoughts on Mike Trout. Is he an elite star? He hasn’t carried a team to much of anything…
It would be awesome to see all the teams hold out on Harper and Machado just to slow down the inflated contracts. This would be a great offseason to do it. Let them sweat it out and force them both to sign a one year deal.
Go read 538.com’s article on it regarding Bryce if you’re interested
in year 9 or 10 maybe, other than that I don’t think they’ll be any regret.
He’s injury-prone and a lousy defender. He’s an been an overrated sensation since he was a teenager. I don’t trust him to age gracefully. But I wouldn’t really trust ANYONE on a 10 year deal if I were a GM.
There are few players with long contracts that have been good that long. Pujols has been disappointing. A-Rod was good but his team couldn’t afford any other decent players. Harper has been a disappointment and his swing is full of holes. He’s had a couple of great years and then a bunch of OK years. Are you really going to pay over $30 million per year for 10 years for a guy whose career line is .279/30/90, especially when he’s injury prone and not a great defender?
by 2029 itll be commonplace. nobody realizes that
Yes, I’ll happily pay him that. Funny how you ignore his elite OBP and the fact that his “OK years” with the bat are still better than 90+% of players.
Let’s also keep in mind that Pujols was 32 when he signed that massive extension, not 26. Not even close to comparable.
The guy has a career OPS of .900 and easily has one of the best bars in baseball – with arguably the highest ceiling (bat only). If anything, I’d argue he’s underrated on these boards.
Paul Griggs…. = Priggs??? Nah jk I agree with what you say. Any team with Harper is ensuring that they improve for a solid 6-7 years minimum. Harper through his age 37 season isn’t a bad deal.
They’ll regret a ten yr deal by year four when he just plays without the fire or intensity, and keeps counting his money. Should have taken the deal back then. Only three teams can afford that money and all three teams would be over the threshold.
I’m sure he’ll still play for the public recognition. He loves attention. The better he plays, the more of an icon he becomes.
Why would they regret giving a 26 year old superstar a 10 year offer?
With Harper and Machado, pending some catastrophic injury, it’s safe bet that the acquiring teak will get at least 6 years of prime production.
And with both those guys, you’re getting marketable players as well.
Because nobody can live up to 300+M, especially after how he preformed last season.
He was a top 15 hitter in baseball last year even with a BA below .250.
They’ll both opt out anyways. This contract won’t be bad for the team but the next one will.
According to Fangraphs he ranked #45 in WAR among all major league players.
He said a top 15 hitter not top 15 in WAR
Even having a down year he still ops+ 133
He isn’t a superstar. He is inconsistent and poor defensively.
Yes he’s streaky but he’s not a CF, he’s a corner OF that the Nats put in CF out of necessity
He may not always perform like one, but he is most certainly a superstar. Basically the face of baseball, like it or not. Part of his $30m/yr is going to be a business decision through proxies to raise several revenue streams.
I don’t want to pay for 10 years in order to get 6 good years, though. I’d be fine with a 6 year contract, though.
Yeah, this is how free agency works though.
Ok, then give him 6/300 instead of 10/300.
That’s really not how free agency works…
10 years is a long time. Anything over 10 years is absurd. So many things can happen. An injury or a falloff after 30. I think you can pencil in 5 good to great years. After that? Who knows.
Wow! Harper only be good 5 years in 10 yr deal
By then, still be younger than Pujols was when he got $240M… or Arod contract #2
You know y ARod 10 year contract #1 was worth it?
Mets could give him a 500 mil offer. Of course they’d pay it out bonila style. Say something like 25/500mil. Of course I’m joking but still worth typing.. you know in case it does happen I can say I told you so. Lmao
please dont give them any ideas. they’re already stealing from Miami and Seattle. 3 studs for nothing
Eh I’d hardly say for nothing. I wish the Ms got more for Diaz particularly (Cano is a needed salary dump), but they got the best deal offered according to Dipoto. Unfortunately the Red Sox weren’t dangling Swihart, Wright, and prospects like the Mets were shoving out Bruce, Swarzark and prospects.
cano is a good player dont forget his stats last year could be doubled essentially as he missed half the year
I’m hoping the mets offer Harper 500mil and it handcuffs them for years, right bobby Bonilla?
Disagree completely. MVP at 24. Guy is a future HOF. Rare to be able to pay one at age 26… usually you have to wait until they’re 30-31. I hope cubs look to sign KB to extension and sign Bryce. Back to back for next 12-14 years
Voice of Reason
Didn’t you learn anything from the Heyward contract?
For a 26 year old star, its a little bit more of a cushion than someone who is 30 or 31. I’d be more comfortable with a 9 or 10 year deal for Harper than with basically anyone else
The Nationals have a great outfield minus Harper. He’s a great player and will get a contract from some team that showcases that but the Nationals seem better off allocating that money elsewhere.
Eaton is a major injury concern, Soto and Robles haven’t played a full season combined and Taylor is up and down all the time. how is that great?
I’d love the to see him go to the Yankees on a 9 year deal that takes him to age 35 season. 9yrs/333mil
37 mil a year for 9 years, eh? I guarantee he’d burn out after the 4th or 5th year. These 9/10 year contracts are absurd. There’s nothing to drive them. They shine for 3 or 4 years and then hit cruise control. That is, the ones who stay healthy which are few.
As a Red Sox fan, so would I.
Mr. Boras doesn’t mind leaving money on the table. But what keeps him up nights is leaving “stupid money” on the table. Lerner might well just come out and say it. As a Braves fan, it’s not as bad as you think playing him 20 games/year as long as Teheran isn’t on the mound.
He has a .913 career OPS vs the Braves in 483 plate appearances… I’d say he’s probably doing damage against more than just Teheran.
Only 40 of his at bats have been against Teheran, and you are right, he has absolutely destroyed him for a 1.702 OPS. That’ll help the overall numbers for sure, but it’s only ~10% of his at bats vs them. The guy straight up rakes.
Machado will beat the 300 million too.
Phillies and Yankees have not spent a dollar yet. Neither have any of the other rumored teams with interest.
A-Rod was the last and only such talent available in this market and that was 18 years ago.
Yeah I don’t think Machado gets there. It’s possible he’ll exactly $300 million just because he wants that number, probably with some deferred, but I think he really hurt his earning power late this year. This isn’t the NBA, where players can do whatever they want almost. Hustle and effort is important in MLB, even for stars. He’ll get crucified for stuff like that in a major market where he’s making huge money.
Great move by Lerner. No one else will offer that many years and it looks as if the offer might be off the table. “Sorry fans, but we tried.”
Especially when they really didn’t try that hard, if the reports are true. They had to know 300/10 without opt outs wasn’t even going to be be considered. Not to say 300/10 isn’t a substantial offer, but it seemed like a half at least we tried measure.
They most likely offered that knowing he would turn it down and they could save face by telling their fans “Hey, we offered him a really big contract and he turned it down”. Its a brilliant move. They look like they really tried to keep him and Harper looks like the greedy jerk who turned down a $300M contract
its ONLY MONEY! OWNERS are the greedy ones. Whatcha gonna do with 3 billion? especially if you’re 80
This has been pretty well played overall by Rizzo. Not perfect, but the 4 outfielders on the cheap allowed for a run at and acquisition of Corbin, while still looking like the “tried” to retain Bryce.
Opt outs are stupid. They offered a guaranteed $300m plus and for you to say that the Nationals were not really trying is a bad joke.
He’s getting a bigger offer than that. I don’t think Harper will even listen to offers under the $325 million Stanton got, even if just out principle, and Boras will agree. Machado, on the other hand, isn’t going to find the same kind of market.
Stanton’s a far better player. And he doesn’t have to be wet-nursed by everyone in management.
It’s totally fair offer. $300 million is $300 million. Give me a break. If he wanted to stay in DC that should get it done. Look at Trout.
I don’t think the Nationals will be the only team. Phillies for sure will offer a ten year deal to Harper or Machado. Perhaps the Yankees and White Sox will too, not that they necessarily sign him
Agree great move by Lerner. An even better move would have been to trade him before the deadline and get more than a 4th round or later compensatory pick..
That offer is off the table, no way no how. Good luck Booras on signing this guy for more than $300m and ten years.
Great news for fans of other teams.
Isn’t Gomes owed $7MM in 2019? Was there a trade boost in his contract somewhere?
Actually Harper reminds me a lot of Grady Sizemore…….
Plays all-out all the time instead of picking his spots. Runs into walls for no reason. A fast runner yet a terrible baserunner. Swings with all his might and stubbornly tries to hit each pitch over the RF wall, only to make outs into the shift. Doesn’t hit for average. Incredibly low Baseball-IQ that does dumb things regularly while saying how important it is for the team to win.
Bingo! You left out misses cutoff men regularly. Also not a great clubhouse guy. More concerned with his brand and hitting homers than doing the little things it takes to actually win.
Thomas Brunelleschi, could you elaborate? Who claims he’s a bad guy on the team and what are your sources? Thanks in advance.
Suh suh suh suh see ya.
Wut, did I stutter?
It really because of the baseball pundits, including MLBTR that is responsible for this. I mean yeah, Boras and Harper are to blame too, but some how, somewhere writers came up with the garbage of 14 year deals for $400M and $500M. And now that’s imbedded in the minds of some people. Ironically not a single fan thinks it’s worth it. So who piloting the ship right now? Should have taken the $300M offer.
I can’t even believe these people were serious when they hit the enter button and really undermines the validity of other topics. 14 years and $500M lololololo. Why thou?
I for one thinks he’s worth it. I’m guessing 12yr/$420 mil. That’s $35 mil per year. It may not seem worth it initially. But this is the new norm. The way MLB contracts are going, Within 5 years, $35 mil for a superstar, will seem normal. If they get 6 or 7 good years out of Harper, that boosts ticket sales and merchandise sales, among other things. Theres only a minuscule chance that Harper will be a flop. And players on his stature dont come around often.
With the utmost respect and courtesy…if I ever own a major league franchise, I will not hire you as my GM.
Thank you for the courtesy. The team I would assemble would probably have a $400 million payroll annually anyway, Because I’d give Trout $50 million per year, and would’ve already traded for Greinke. Best of luck if our imagined teams ever face off in the future!
I would extend Mookie at 40M/yr and give TB a new stadium for Snell.
Hey, my imaginary team, my rules.
You’re out of your mind, 12 year contract, absurd!
Out of my mind? Maybe. Why dont you make your prediction, and we will see who’s closer.
Marc (Phillies Phan)
kiddhoff – I see both sides on this because some fans see it as production and some see it as business.
Harper’s production will never ever be worth the contract.
BUT you are correct that he will indeed so all of the things you said and he is a PR piece (even more so if he is a Dodger or Yankee) . So from a business standpoint, he is worth every penny.
Now, as a player, he will be overpaid and I am not sure he will live up to the hype. He has been around for 6 years and he has flashes of elitism, but is so streaky. When he is cold, all you have to do is get him to 2 strikes, throw one in the dirt and he will chase. When he is hot, he will hit everything.
Lastly, as a fan, it does aggravate me that players like Trout and Goldschmidt may or may not ever get this hype and I would take either before Harper. I like their makeup and how they play. So I definitely see the other side for sure. I do not think we would be discussing this if this article was about either one of them.
I like and agree with your analysis
You are talking about a record contract, and calling it the new normal. You need a dictionary. If it was normal, it wouldn’t be a record. As ratings and attendance continue to drop, so too will the revenue streams. Unless the sport starts trying to win back fans, by lowering prices, you will soon see payrolls recede. With so many teams rebuilding, and cutting payroll, it may have already begun.
Teams are making reactionary moves now more than ever. And this leads to overpaying for players. That’s the new norm. And whether you believe it or not, Harper is classified as a superstar. Yes, a $400mil contract seems crazy, but it will eventually happen. And it’s probably gonna happen with Harper. There are only a handful of teams cutting payroll. If I’m crazy, so are the writers for this very site, who predicted a $420 mil contract for Harper
I;m guessing your dead wrong, not even the Dodgers or Yankees will pay that money, he’s not Mickey Mantle in his prime.
Teams make decisions on how much to pay players based upon our predictions of contract value? Guess I didn’t know my own power!
Well, I have seen MLB Traderumors referenced across the majority of mainstream sports sites, so maybe you have more influence than you think!
Hey Jeff Todd, I’ve noticed your posts receive a great number of upvotes. You should apply for a MLBTradeRumors writing position.
I only up-voted because there were no typos in his latest comment.
Marc (Phillies Phan)
Jimcarlo Slaton – He does write for MLBTR. He has been doing offseason outlooks – and doing a fine job.
It’s the tail wagging the dog, yes.
Why yes baseball365…GM’s across the country are sitting down with their respective staffs and owners saying “The guys at MLBTR said he is worth 14/420 so that is what we MUST offer”….yep, that’s how it works. /s
Look out, guys. Now it’s mlbtr’s fault.
I think that offer was appropriate for harper based on age and upside. But thinking he is worth more is just plain dumb! Only players worth half a billion or close to it are trout and betts if he continues he trend.
Lol so they choose an extra 4th rounder over JB Bukauskas but at least they still have their dignity? Congratz I guess…
I think that he will end up in St. Louis
I have a feeling he’s going to end up in STL as well
go ahead and and 1 to the loss column in your FA picking contest entry
and add 1*
I share your sentiment!
Do you think the Cardinals will beat 10/300 mil?
No one really knows if they even need to. If he’s still unsigned in January that might easily get him.
I think he’s getting 8/240
i wish i could block clueless people like you
He’s only clueless until he’s proven correct. At this point, we’re all guessing.
What do they do with Fowler and his salary? What do they do with Martinez?
If you mean J. Martinez, that is easy. He will get traded no matter if Harper was to go to St. Louis. He’s a DH and needs to be in the AL. As for Fowler, bad contract swaps do happen. And if St. Louis were to go “all in” on Harper, which i honestly don’t believe they will, then eating a significant amount of Fowler’s money shouldn’t be the breaking point.
But to me, here’s the problem with a Harper to St. Louis scenario. It means the likelihood of a Goldy extension is even less likely. As it sits right now, i can see St. Louis’s willingness to extend Goldy. Much in the same way they did with Holliday. Goldy will naturally cost more than Holliday did, but it’s a reasonable expectation for them to want to have that happen.
Just like Giancarlo.
Let’s hope they don’t cheap out on this one. Did you read the article on Corbin in pinstripe alley?
Keep seeing this nonsense. Seriously, why would the Yankees need Harper?
Same reason any other team would need Harper.
Any team interested in winning the World Series wants a lineup with eight Harpers in it.
Houston’s pitching was much better this year than last year. The majority of professed online baseball fans can’t seem to process this fact.
We need multidimensional hitters in Yankees, not more strikeouts. When was the last time you saw a championship team made of so many hitters striking out over 100 times? Harper would only add to that. I always remember what Jeter said when they asked him about A-Rod leaving, via free agency, and he said “they didn’t have players with those numbers in the 90’s and they won 4 WS.”
Just look at all the WS’s Harper won taking his sub-standard supporting cast on his back and willing them to victory.
Yah, that disgusting 21.1% K% for his career would just kill the Yankees.
Boston had 6 guys strikeout more than 100 times this year.
Houston only had 2 in 2017, but they also had an additional 4 that struck out over 90 times.
The Cubs had 5 when they won it all.
He’s the lefty bat power bat to breakup Stanton and Judge they truly need, he has the star power potential NY loves, he could fit right into left field.
No need to worry about judges impending contract or torres or severinos. Yankees will lose most of there core to sign harper to the albatross he will command. Having stanton and harpers contracts would be crippiling to any team.
This is largely my concern too, though I think you’re over-exaggerating how much the Yankees can truly be crippled by one contract, regardless if it reaches historic amounts. Ellsbury’s salary will be up by the time your named players will be due for significantly larger paydays. That being said, guys like didi, Hicks, Betances, and so on, who are closer to free agency, may be more directly impacted by a massive contract like Harper’s. I think it’s really more of a short-term rather than a long-term issue in context of the first half to three quarters of a Harper contract. But the end of such a deal, depending on contract structure, is much harder to gague.
Because it is just easier to say the Yankees get Harper than seriously analyzing the situation.
Harper is the LH bat this lineup craves. All LH hitters are FA next year. Hicks’ a switch hitter, Didi out wi/ TJ, Gardy still quality player jus 4th OF this stage of career)
You must be a Machado fan or a Yankee hater. Harper is the better long-term fit for this team. He slides into LF, replaces 35 y.o Gardner, re-signed to one year deal on his last legs, (aka backup money) won’t prevent this.
Harper’s a Yankee fan. Grew up Yankee fan. Yes, players w/ other teams ALL time but if close something tells me he won’t chase every last dollar despite popular belief. Remember one time Boras gave Yanks 19M discount on Beltran? (They still said no due to lux tax, wont be prob here…) There’s precedent. That doesnt mean wont sign with another team if offered 40M more like Corbin.
Which brings us to last point: Lux tax reset. This is prob what haters are hoping is new YANKEE way, with Hal Boss. Amazingly, first time ever they ever under lux tax
If NYY who paid lux tax 15 yrs, total 341M got under it once (done) rather than pay 50-percent tax as a multiple offender, they reset penalty clock, zero tax this year and only 20 percent next time they go over Luxury tax. Give me a break with the Phillies’ “stupid money” Higher chances NYY does. Wishful thinking “evil empire” is out of it because of the Stanton deal.
You never answered my question about that Corbin article. If You didn’t read it you definitely should, it shines a light on what really went on with the Yankees negotiations. Most of the stuff that was reported on here was blatantly false about what the Yankees did, but of course with stalwarts such as Sherman reporting it shouldn’t surprise anyone.
I’m definitely not gonna take the view of known Yankee haters..rmullig2, and the famous imindless.
Yankees sign Harper,Machado and keuchel and trade Stanton
I am the hater you imagine. Snd probably more. 🙂
No you’re a troll, because we know. Wow must’ve been a poet and didn’t know it. :>)
T-T-Troll is your name, and being a D-D-Dick is your game.
He didn’t take it because he knows that the Nationals are overrated. No stability either.
If they offer him a decent contract
That’s a stretch…mostly wishful thinking, though certainly possible. With the acquisition of Goldschmidt, it seems they are content to stand pat and use the remainder of their assets as trade bait. Also, Harper would have to think that if he signed with them, there would be no money for them to extend Goldy or possibly Ozuna, so there would be a good chance that STL would be very limited in 2020 both in talent and money to acquire new talent.
Don’t get me wrong…seeing Harper in STL would make me a very happy fan!
A lot of money coming off the books after 2020. Extending Goldschmidt is a big question though….
Cards have alot of open payroll starting next year. Signing Harper doesnt mean they couldnt sign Goldschmidt too. Now signing ozuna next year or carp the year after would be a different story
Carp and his lack of position is losing favor in STL. Last spring he was on life support before he took off on an unbelievable roll for almost 2 months, but then regressed to end the season. It would not shock me at all to see him elsewhere before his contract is up.
As a Nats fan who would love to see Harper back as much as anyone, I have to admit I think Mark Lerner has it right. 10 yrs 300 mil was generous— but anything more than that is simply too much for one player IMO. If Harper departs, I hope it’s for more money so we can boo him endlessly…
Wouldn’t leaving for less money be more insulting to Nats fans?
won’t be booing him while you sit at home during the playoffs so in the end who really cares. Enjoy that 83 million for 3 pitchers in 2023 (Max won’t even be there but gets 15) while you explain how great it is to not have Harper.
He’ll leave money on the table if the White Sox are the highest bidder.
Snarky, but likely true as WSox go all out with almost no significant payroll obligations. Problem is Hahn probably won’t want to have first opt out clause until after year 4 b/c 2019 is still a throwaway season (contenders now likely no issue with opt out for just 3yrs). Crystal ball guess they would go 10/350 with opt outs after years 4 and 5…….and be used to leverage a club with more glitz.
Announcement tomorrow they’re signing him
This may sound dumb…but for years past I recall the GMs making all the moves and being the ones to comment on acquiring players, but now all I hear about is “president of baseball operations…”. Are the GMs basically out of business now? Just someone for management to fire if the team tanks?
POBO’s are basically the “new” Gms and the GMs are basically the top “new” assistant GMs.
It’s kind of like the article i read a few days ago about hitting coaches. I can’t remember which team it was, but they now have a hitting coach, an assistant hitting coach and a “hitting instructor” on the ML coaching staff.
It’s usually about the money, most of us fans figure 200 Million or 300 million both are enormous amounts of money and you should be set forever either way. Yet the best players usually have huge egos and want to be the highest paid regardless.
Harper is a solid power hitter but someplace owners have to draw a line, most teams are not the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers or Cubs. I can;t stand the Nationals organization but they are doing the right thing by not getting hijacked by one super star.
I think giving that much to one player is not smart. Look at the giants. With bonds 0 we titles. Without and a more spread out roster 3ws titles
B – I – N – G – O ! ! ! ! ! !
Phillies or Dodgers
Or the dark horse candidate White Sox…
Staying w Cubs
I think Cubs were a good possibility all along, and maybe more so now with St. Louis’ trade for Goldschlitz.
I agree. Might force their hand a little but, who knows
I definitely as a Yankee fan want Harper in left! Stanton is below average in left and belongs in Right or DH. We can’t depend on Gardy full time in left and the little we saw if Stanton in the field reveals in big spots he shouldn’t be there for range purposes. Harper is a perfect fit and we need a left handed bat. Frazier was my choice to be our left fielder but the concussion concerns changed that and while I haven’t given up on him I hope he comes out strong and shows he has a future on this team. Remember Stanton can opt out in 2020.
The yankees would have to trade stanton and find somebody to take his contract, I don’t see that happening.
Why would they..
If you think Stanton is below average in LF, wait till you get a load of Harper……
Recently the statistically 4th worst ranked OF in the NL.
Maybe I am just stupid but that is an idiotic amount and length of contract for a five WAR corner OF player. But someone will give him that and regret it in 5 or 6 years
what people forget is harpers brand. sure his contract isnt going to be pretty, but there is revenue that gets made just by having him.
Hmmm, I have no idea what who he’ll sign with. It doesn’t seem like there’s a clear suitor that is serious about making a deal happen.
They made their “Pujols Offer”…enough to make it appear to the fans they tried but not enough that he would take it.
What would be crazy is if they make it past the first round of the postseason without harper. I think they over paid for a solid number 3 like corbin, I wasen’t upset when he didn’t choose the phillies, I would of went 5 years with a 6th option worth 95 million.
The favorites in order
I hope the Sox don’t sign either of the marquee free agents. Baseball is a team game, and one superstar player won’t make a difference on a team filled with “prospects” who have yet to perform even close to the hype. Sign them both and the team still won’t win unless the other 24 players on the team can step it up.
If every season Harper had played was similar to his MVP season, he might be justified in seeking a 400MM+ contract. Considering he has been massively inconsistent, I hope nobody tops the Nats original offer.
Somebody will over pay Harper for his services but he’s only 26. He’s been very inconsistent outside of his mvp year. I do want the phillies to land him but it’s a high risk.
Thing is, all we have to do is look at Hosmer’s contract with the Padres and we can see that there will be at least one team willing to overlook inconsistencies. Harper is going to get what he wants from some overzealous owner.
But does Harper put a razor to the beard to don the pinstripes? Would he leave “x” amount of $$$ on the table w/NYY in order to save the beard?
I’m eating crow from saying John Mozeliak hasn’t hired a Superstar player in the past 5 years. Now he has in the Goldschmidt trade. However, I do agree with the commentators from the MLB Network. Mozeliak made a fantastic trade for Paul Goldschmidt. Money hasn’t been spent by the Cardinals yet. Obviously, St. Louis is one of the places, with history Bryce Harper, would like to play. Boras and Mo have a good history between them in dealings on others of Boras’ clients. Now is the time to sign Harper and put the icing on the offensive. Not just for this year but for years to come. In the 2020 preseason, he can resign Goldschmidt and Ozuna. With all of the young talent on the Cardinals already, could you imagine Bryce Harper in the middle of Carpenter, Ozuna, Harper and Goldschmidt? That would make a offense in comparison to Edmonds, Rolen, Pujols. Then Bergman and Beltran. Those were the stars of the most recent World Series teams. With a trade for Bumgarner, the Cardinals could raise the 2019 National League Pennant before the season starts.
Pardon me while I Laugh Out Loud or “LOL”.
If St Louis were to sign Harper I wouldn’t see them even trying to sign Ozuna, I believe they would save money and play Bader, O’Neil and Harper and then try and sign goldy for say something like 7/200, and maybe try signing Carp the following year.
Nice public posturing by Lerner, but I wouldn’t eliminate the Nats from the Harper sweepstakes.
Lerner has gotten his message out to both the fans (we tried) and to Boras (but we can’t exceed a certain number).
Didn’t take long for Natinals fans to declare Harper overrated.
Enjoy Patrick Corbin, I guess?
If you intentionally typed Natinals, then very well played sir.
And that Corbin contract is gonna start hurting in 2020.
If you’re Harper, why in the world would you want to sign with the White Sox?
This would be like Mike Trout saying “Gee…the Yankees sound great but I want to play for the Mets!”.
Asked and answered. Phenom Eloy Jimenez with him in middle of order. Lot of other young/legit prospects here or heading up by year 2, payroll flexibility and trade chips to go after proven players for holes, plenty of marketing $ opportunities in Chicago (not just Cubs). Don’t think they are the favorite, but a lot to like.
This little thing called money would probably have something to do with it…
Machado was just being honest. No player can give 100 percent all the time. They need to conserve energy through the long season. We all have a certain amount of energy and can’t waste it running hard on sure outs.
Are you being sarcastic? If you’re not, Kirby Puckett is rolling over in his grave. Or wait, maybe he’s conserving energy and isn’t fully rolling over, just twitched a little.
It was postseason play. What was Machado saving himself for?
Like our great president says, “we only have a finite amount of energy.” Don’t expect players to bust out sure outs all season, it will lead to an early death.
No one questioned his play during the regular season. His lack of hustle was during the playoffs!
Time will tell but while some will argue the floor has been set, just remember the floor could have a trapped door. The Yankees might wait this out and if other teams spend their money elsewhere, could this end up where there is no other bidder like Boston did with JDM?
To think they put this guy in the same conversation as mike trout is beyond me
Message: Yo Scott, we’re not going higher than $300m and you can stop calling me and my family to talk us into it. We’re calling your bluff and you should go ahead and sign that $350m you keep claiming you have in your back pocket.
Anyone who thinks Harper is not going to get more than the 10 years and 300 million is kidding themselves. No doubt he will get 10 years and somewhere in the area of 350 and 400 million.
“There’s a sucker born every minute”.
Mariners won 116 games after trading Randy Johnson and Junior. Nats will be better without Harper, too. Guy is not a winning player and I’m guessing team chemistry will be better without him, as well.
Nats would be smart to use that Harper money to solidy their team with multiple players.
The cream of the crop are 2 a*sholes …. how charming this offseason is.
I used to like Machado, and I wanted the Yankees to sign him, until I saw his shenanigans playing for the Dodgers.
dimitrios in la
I watched him for 5-plus years with the Birds. Not a guy I ever wanted signing long-term with the O’s, just doesn’t check the requisite boxes.
How is Harper an a*shole?
dimitrios in la
Here is the bottom line on Bryce harper: he may have reached his peak (he developed much earlier than others but that does not mean he will continue on the same trajectory), the market for him is very small, and he’s actually really not that good.
Yes, he actually is that good. His peak is as high, if not higher, than anyone in baseball without the last name Trout.
The amount of hate this guy gets is amazing.
They never had a chance fo do so.
Your prediction: Trout signs extension with Halos or his the open market.
My prediction: extension
The point was in looking forward to his potential free-agency. Now THAT is something to be excited about
I bet they are kicking themselves for not trading him at the deadline
Trade a generational player for the bag of Balls that was being offered?
Phillies. Yankees are stacked in the outfield, wouldn’t it make more sense for them to sign Machado? They could then trade some infield pieces for pitching.
Harper is foolish to turn down 10/300. Guaranteed money and he doesn’t have to move. Maybe he’s looking for a team where he can live in a low tax state?
And here I thought Washington, DC had low txes.
That would be Florida. Marlins or Rays?
Everyone keeps comparing Bryce Harper in a long deal to players like Pujols. That is such a stupid comparison. The age difference between the two is huge in this and will make an enormous difference.
I wouldn’t say that paying Harper over $30 million for his 33-36 age season is going to be worth it. I think if you sign him to something like 10/400 (which I do think is absolutely insane) you do it knowing you are not going to get value and cross your fingers during those first 7 years you break even or get close and still call it a win.
For this Braves fan, I am not concerned about doing that math. It isn’t going to happen. Unless the Braves can get Haniger without giving up a Kings ransom, I would love to get McCutchen over Brantly or Pollock. Cutch is a model of consistency, is an outstanding club house presence and just might be had at something like 3/$48.
I really think the ten year length is the extra year or two the Nats were trying to add to entice Harper.
I see it more like and 8-10/ 320MM-380MM.
400=MM is possible but only by the one stupid owner theory.
The ten year length is what make a lot of owners balk at the idea.
Here it is… Yankees sign Harper and machado. Trade Stanton to S.F for bumgarner
Swap out Stanton and that obnoxious contract for Judge – then it’s a deal. Has to hurt for you too skippy ….
Yankees would have to eat a portion of Stanton’s contract. Or take Longoria too.
Stanton contract looks like a bargain now with the two they will be getting . They wouldn’t have to eat $1. Throw them a chance Adams…
Stanton would have to accept the trade. Why would he when he didn’t want to go to SF last offseason?!
$300M/10 years is crazy. A bigger offer would be insane.
One less bidder to worry about for the Phillies, White Sox and perhaps the Cubs as well if they can move some salary. I don’t see the Yankees as a fit either with two high profile corner OF’s in Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge along with an expensive Brett Gardner and Jacob Ellsbury. Like the Cubs, NY would likely have to move some dollars, probably Stanton in order to even make room for Harper. The Yankees have a bigger need, at least short term for Manny Machado with SS Didi Gregorius out until at least mid-summer due to his TJ surgery in October.
The Phillies and White Sox look to be the main competition for Harper along with Machado. The Dodgers could be in the mix for Harper as well but they also have a glut of OF’s on their roster as well as luxury tax concerns. They have little need for Machado with star young SS Corey Seager returning from his own TJ surgery last May and a stud at 3B in Justin Turner.
Who’s left to bid on Harper other than the Cardinals, Mets and fading Giants who really need to start a full scale rebuild as well as move salary? St. Louis was a possibility for Machado but that was prior to trading for 1B Paul Goldschmidt which pushes Matt Carpenter to the hot corner. The Mets could be in the mix for either but have a lot more financial constraints than the Phillies and White Sox. It’s looking more and more like a two team battle for Harper and Machado unless some of the other clubs can lose some significant salary this offseason.
dimitrios in la
Machado doesn’t become a “need” with Gregorius out. Lots of short-term options at SS before Didi comes back—Manny’s not one if them.
I think he meant to say “fill a need for an impact SS”
1 great year.He could of wither opt out into contract put together a couple of more great years and come out ahead.
Yeah, those ~500 plate appearances with an OPS over 1.000 in 2017 weren’t anything special…
Again – CAREER OPS of .900.
That last day of the season offer was silly. Obviously he would never wait that long and accept a deal that close to free agency. Nats just trying to save face.
It wasn’t the last day of the season. The offer was made during their final home stand. The Nats finished the season in CO.
Yes and they would never make the playoffs if they don’t keep Strasburg pitching- the window will close.
sounds like the same crowd to me Papa
The Dodgers need a superstar that can carry us especially after just losing the last two WS. Harper can become that player and the risk is worth the reward. We have had good teams with incredible depth to go along witha top farm system to replenish talent but it still has not been GREAT.
The risk that the Yankees took on taking Stanton’s monster contract is worth it because even though he didn’t carry them to the title this past year, just by having him as a possibility to do so is worth it. We’ve all seen how Stanton can go on a tear for a couple weeks at a time. If he translates that into the playoffs?
Same with Harper, don’t think he has reached his full potential and at his age is well worth seeing if he does. Once Harper translates and carries a team in the playoffs will he become transcendent. Same with Kershaw, but just as we have had Kershaw leading the pitching staff, Harper could lead our bats. Perhaps they both could shed their questionable post season results and take us to the promised land.
NL pennants are great but I’m not satisfied with being the Braves of the 90’s. Flags fly forever and Dodger fans deserve a championship.
The most ironic place for Harper to sign now would be…
The team has the resources and just enough talent to put around him, including some youth..But the bitter outright hatred shown by many Philly fans from the start of Harper’s career would leave them feeling a little like Redskins fans after the signing of Neon Deon Sanders after his time wit Cowboys
Unless the Tigers pony up a half billion, I’ll predict he’ll take 5/200 from Nats.
He’s , and I’m being generous here, at the very most worth 25M a season.
Most overrated player I’ve seen in at least a decade.
I’m personally not against a Harper signing for a handful of teams but I understand the Nats moving on. Corbin wasn’t waiting on Harper. They made a strong respectable push to sign him then gave it a little time. With where it sounds like they are payroll wise it was going to be Harper or Corbin plus others. Can’t risk seeing the Harper situation through to the end and losing out on him.
Harper is hard to judge. Someone made a point to me I hadn’t thought of before. I always assumed Harper should get better over the next couple of years then peak and stay there for a handful of years because that’s what guys that age do. But he pointed out that Harper has been in the league longer than the guys I’m basing that off of and maybe he has seen and learned all he ever will. I’m not saying he’s right or wrong just that there really is no other comparison to his situation
All you need to know about bryce harper is that in his contract year he couldn’t even hit .250
And still managed to put up an OPS of .889, which was the 16th best in ALL OF BASEBALL.
Not to mention that he had a BABIP almost 30 points below his career average despite hitting the ball harder than he ever has. Yah, I think he’s fine.
It’s odd to see batting average cited in 2018 — especially when it’s not accompanied by other stats.
That’s an impressive OPB on it’s own but more impressive is .147 point gap between that and the BA
Also of note Harper has Never had a slugging % below .490
where there’s smoke there’s a baseball owner that’s about to deliver his city a xmass gift. nats offseason’s been sneaky good- add harper and they’re a legit playoff team.
Well yanks you blew all the top pitchers let go for offense BRYCE HARPER will fit perfectly in Yankees stadium YOU NEED LEFTY HITTER go and get him SLA GRORGE!!!!!!
They wont reach the length of contract needed
MANNY IS TOXIC. You don’t need a primadonna
It makes more sense for Harper as a Yankee, career wise with that short porch in right. Machado would do well in Philly, maybe he plays 3rd and is content.
the problem with the Yankmees is they wont go for the length of contract. They may top the 30mm/year the Nats put on the table, but they wont match that price at those years…
And that is the one he turned down
Brave in nebraska
I’m sure bryce saw or heard about how Gabe ran the Phillies last season. Y’all really think he wants to play his next 8 to 10 years for Gabe. Really?
I think its quite obvious that when Bryce Harper is at his best is when his lineup around him is hitting. I don’t see that being the case in Washington this year. Reading over the possible landing spots for Harper from Bleacher Report, the list really isn’t that big.
Astros, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Nationals, Padres, Phillies, Twins, White Sox and Yankees were listed.
I think its safe to say the Astros, Braves, Giants, Nationals, Padres, Twins are not really possible landing spots due to money issues. That leaves the Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Phillies, White Sox and Yankees in a bidding war.
1. I think Philadelphia’s best shot is if they can offer the most cash and that’s all Harper is looking for. Their lineup in pretty good but there are sexier options out there.
2. The White Sox have the resources to be in this but I don’t think they have what Harper is looking for in terms of protection.
This leaves the Cardinals, Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers as probably the likeliest of landing spots
The Cubs are already at a projected $208 million payroll for 2019. They would have to do some major wheeling and dealing to get under that luxury tax. Dodgers are at a projected 196 million. I’m not saying these teams care about being over or under but it is something to keep in your minds. Cardinals are projected at 151 million(includes Goldschmidt) and Yankees at 164 million.
As far as protection goes, all four of those teams can give Harper all the protection he wants, Dodgers have 4 good outfielders so someone would have to go. Yankees kind of have a cluster in their lineup and would likely have to reshuffle to make room for Harper.. Cubs would likely look to move Heyward to make room for Harper and his salary. Cardinals have a ? currently in right field and are most likely moving Gyrko and Martinez so that frees up salary and right field since that was Martinez’s spot last year.
I would disagree that this is just about the money. The pay day is a measure of interest vs resources. A player like Harper is just as interested in what the front office is like, who are the managers and coaches… which leads to what style of play will the team have?
In the end knowing the expectations of the team and making yours clear to the team has a lot to do with where you decide to go.
I also disagree the Nats would not have protected Harper with a lineup that included Eaton Turner Rendon Soto Robles Kendrick Zimmerman and two newly acquired Catchers who’s offense will be a vast improvement . the bench should be strong this year since the Nats have addressed most of the Starting needs for the position players. The winter meetings could get interesting with the Nats. I am not saying Rizzo wont go after a premium player. But the bench players he signs over the next three weeks will be the most interesting part.
LH 1B platoon/backup for Zimm
Good hit Good defense Util. IF with middle and Corner IF experience
Primary pinch hitter for late game
Barring trade they already have the fourth OF in Taylor with other candidates in the farm system. Not to mention the ST Invite signings…
So yeah I think they could protect Harper just fine in the Lineup.
Harper tended to slump when he got impatient and tried to pull everything.
When he took balls the other way and up the middle his average soared. When he took his walks he got better pitches to hit later. When he lays down the occasional bunt to beat the shift the shift loosens up.
Based on what the owner had to say tells you that Harper already has an offer in hand that blows their offer away and it is not from a rival team. That probably leaves Dodgers, Yankees or Cubs. As far as everyone saying 10 years would be a mistake you guys realize he is only 26 right? Which means he would be only 36 at the end of the contract. In my opinion this is only a mistake if he signed with a national league team because if it is in American League team the last three or four years of the contract he could be primarily a designated hitter.
Lerner was just telling the truth. It does not mean he has an offer that blows away $30m in hand at all
I have him with the phillies 8-10 years , 290-320 million , with an opt out after 3 years.
Todd Helton. The Rockies rewarded his incredible early success with a 9 year contract. He performed at that standard for two seasons after the contract kicked in. The remaining 7 years he handcuffed the team.
Buddy just saw Harper get off plane in St Louis.
Just part of the tour my friend
Intriguing fit. Would much rather he not go to the Phils (who might outbid St Lou if it comes to that).
It really is unusual to see a player follow up .319 and .330 years with .243 and .249..
I can’t think of any similar cases offhand… Makes me wonder if he’s been hiding a lingering injury or if he becomes distracted for long periods.
Harper is still making the adjustment to pitchers constantly pitching around him. he has made progress as evidenced by his OBP, but if you don’t see more than one hit to pitch every other game or so it IS hard to keep a rhythm
Defensive shifts. They are very effective and some players cannot adjust, causing players numbers to drop. Analitics are shifting defenses thereby causing players such as Harper to adjust. Until he shows he can adjust and still be effective, no way he deserves the contract he’s pursuing.
Or, MLB bans the shifts, to keep their superstars, such as Harper, putting up big numbers. We shall see.
Harper lacks the decipline and patience to be consistent. He is quick to change his stance, posture, hand position, bat angle, load, etc whenever he goes a few games without a hit. I’m a Nats fan and I’ve watched almost every game of his career. Even when he has success doing something, he will go away from it. For example, during his MVP season, he almost never took batting practice on the field, instead opting to do tee work and front toss in the cage. Next season, he went back to hitting on the field with everyone else. Why on earth would you do that?
IMO, he isn’t consistently good enough to justify the mega deal he and Boras are chasing. Time will tell I guess.
Harper is the BEST player of all time. His #’s speak volumes and still only 26. He is probably the best defensive CF in the game. He should hold out for half a billion 12 year.
Mike Trout would beg to differ if he wasn’t such a humbling sort.
Altho I realise your post is satirical, and that he is a terrible CF’er, I predict he will be a 1b-man within 2-3 years.
All those saying they will regret turning down 10/300 I don’t see 10/400 out of line for this guy He is a rising star getting better everyday he’s what 25/26 no reason that a guy with this talent and I don’t believe there are any injury concerns So I don’t see this as a bad deal But I think his coach ntract will be closer to 450 million or 40 million a year plus incentives that could reach half a billion dollars (Holy Crap Let that sink in) I think this kids is right time right place and I believe he will honor the deal for 10 years