- Free agent Bryce Harper is now expected to remain with his current team, the Washington Nationals
- Reports suggest the Nationals have offered Harper a 10-year deal worth in excess of $300 million
- Harper met on Saturday with the Philadelphia Phillies
Are the Washington Nationals keeping their star attraction?
That appears to be the way things are now leaning in terms of the next destination for all-star outfielder Bryce Harper, as his free agency is turning into the perfect analogy for the sport he plays.
Sources believe #Nationals are now favorites to land Bryce Harper. Followed by #Phillies and then everyone else. Washington offered Harper “Well over $300 million” (as reported by @JimBowdenGM) on a 10-year deal and source indicated “I would be surprised if he doesn’t sign It.”
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) January 5, 2019
In baseball, the objective is to go home, but in Harper’s case, with each passing day, it looks as though he will be staying home.
MyBookie also believes this to be the case. The sportsbook is offering a prop wager that now strongly favors Harper remaining with the Nationals, the only MLB home he has known in his career.
Odds Where Bryce Harper Signs in 2019 Free Agency
|Team||Odds of Which MLB Team Bryce Harper Will Be With On April 1, 2019 at MyBookie|
|New York Yankees||+500|
|Los Angeles Angels||+1000|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+1000|
|Chicago White Sox||+2000|
|Field (any other team)||+400|
*Odds as of 1/13/2019
According to published reports, the Nationals have offered Harper a 10-year pact worth in excess of $300 million.
Did The Nationals Step Up To The Plate?
Harper originally turned down a 10-year, $300-million proposal presented to him by the Nationals in September, but the latest news is that his current club has sweetened their offer.
#Nationals last offer to Bryce Harper was actually “much more than the $300m being reported by the media” according to a source. Apparently, The 10-year $300m offer was actually just the team’s 1st offer to Harper.
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) January 4, 2019
The two sides met following the conclusion of the Winter Meetings.
Harper’s agent Scott Boras recently confirmed that the Nationals are still very much in the picture to sign his client, who was named National League MVP with Washington in 2015.
What’s The Philadelphia Story?
Originally believed to be front runners to sign Harper, the Philadelphia Phillies met again with the 26-year-old outfielder on Saturday. While there were several reports circulating that a deal would be reached between the two sides, no such pact materialized following the talks.
— Richard Justice (@richardjustice) January 11, 2019
The Phillies clearly are putting the full-court press on Harper.
Among those from the organization who jetted to Harper’s home in Las Vegas to meet with him were managing partner John Middleton, club president Andy MacPhail, GM Matt Klentak, and manager Gabe Kapler.
And yet they still came away without a deal.
Harper Weighing His Options
It could be that Harper has the Nationals offer in his back pocket and now is leverging that, or at least giving other sides one last chance to make a comparable offer for him to consider.
Manny to Philly? Bryce back to Washington? Here's the latest on the Machado and Harper markets, which, according to a source, are "heating up" https://t.co/xqqxHjkROt
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 9, 2019
A decision from Harper is expected soon, probably by the end of the month. One way or another, it will swing the balance of power in the NL East. But the longer this drags out, the more it looks like he’ll be staying put in the nation’s capital.
The rest of baseball has had plenty of opportunity to knock his socks off, and it hasn’t happened yet.