Bryce Harper reportedly received and rejected 'aggressive' offer from Nationals in September

Silvia Morton
November 8, 2018

Free agent Major League Baseball superstar Bryce Harper turned down an offer from his current team, the Washington Nationals, that would have made him one of the highest-paid players in U.S. 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.

The sides could still strike a deal later in the off-season. 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.

Harper did not accept the initial offer and the two parties could not reach a deal while the former MVP was still under contract with the Nationals, which meant Washington held exclusive negotiating rights with Harper until he hit the open market.

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors predicted last week that Harper would sign a 14-year/$420 million contract. Harper's agent, Scott Boras, has a history of extending contract talks with his free agent players beyond the holiday season. 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. It will cost them roughly $13 million.

"I'm comfortable with the alternative (to Harper re-signing)", Rizzo added. "But I'm uncomfortable with the statement that we're a better team without him". For the moment, it seems he and Boras will explore options elsewhere.

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In the meantime, Harper will continue to field offers from other teams in hopes of landing a record-setting deal.

Given Harper's history with the Nationals, he seems unlikely to make a deal elsewhere without first circling back.

Thought the offer was $100 million short, there were no hard feelings between Harper and the team.

Average annual value would have been $30 million, USA Today Sports's Bob Nightengale reports.

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