Report: Bryce Harper rejected Nationals' 'aggressive offer'
On the last day of the 2018 season, star outfielder Bryce Harper turned down a long-term "aggressive offer" by the Washington Nationals, according to the Washington Post.
The Post reported on Tuesday that the offer didn't include any opt-outs and was less than the $400 million some have speculated Harper would receive after he and his agent Scott Boras held discussions throughout September.
Since Harper was under contract with the Nationals at the time, they had exclusive rights to negotiate with him. MLB teams had five days to negotiate with their own free agents following the end of the World Series.
"We took advantage of our exclusivity late in the season ... [but] couldn't reach a deal," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Tuesday at the GM meetings in Carlsbad, California.
In seven seasons with the Nationals, Harper has a .279 career batting average, along with 184 home runs, 521 RBI, six All-Star selections and a National League Most Valuable Player award. Harper and Boras reportedly had expected bidding to start at 10 years for $350 million.
In an interview with YES Network in late October, Boras said his client already knew where he's heading.
"We know who the team is, it's already completed and done," Boras said. "But Bryce has told me he wanted to tell you personally, so I'm gonna let him do that."
Harper headlines one of the most valuable free-agent classes in MLB history, which also includes infielder Manny Machado, closer Craig Kimbrel and former Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel.
While Harper could be exploring other options, it's still possible he might return to the Nationals.
"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."