Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

MLB Rumors: Bryce Harper will 'eventually' sign with Phillies?

MLB Rumors: Bryce Harper will 'eventually' sign with Phillies?

Yet people close to the situation say Hal Steinbrenner has no interest in taking on a second mega-contract in addition to Stanton, whose deal calls for nine more years and $265 million in salary. But if they do, it nearly certainly won't be that deal, and Washington's general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo acknowledged on Tuesday that his team can not afford to wait around for the right-fielder to make his decision.

Many in the industry believe star outfielder Bryce Harper's final destination for next season will come no sooner than the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas next month.

Harper headlines one of the most valuable free-agent classes in Major League Baseball history, which also includes infielder Manny Machado, closer Craig Kimbrel and former Cy Young Award victor Dallas Keuchel.

As they've told us time and time again. So hefty, in fact, that it is expected to exceed the $300 million mark after he turned down a 10-year offer for that much from the Washington Nationals, the team he spent the first seven years of his career with.

The two sides were obviously unable to agree on a deal.

If Harper signs elsewhere, the Nationals outfield next season will consist of Juan Soto in left field, Victor Robles in centre and Adam Eaton in right field with former Gold Glove finalist Michael A. Taylor as a backup in centre. It will cost them roughly $US13 million.

"It's going to be a challenge to put the best product on the field, and that could include Harper and it could be doing things without Harper", Rizzo said. "There is a reality that we would love to sign him, but we may not". That would make them seem like an unlikely landing spot for Harper, but Castillo reports that they offered Puig as part of a trade for Harper.

Importantly for any future negotiations, Harper's deal would not be the largest in baseball history by average annual value. It was not enough.

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