Thought the offer was $100 million short, there were no hard feelings between Harper and the team. While Harper's presence on the Nats is realistically one of the myriad factors that have effected those changes, those types of milestones could very well carry more weight with some franchise owners than with baseball operations leaders. Giancarlo Stanton's 2014 deal, which guaranteed him $325 million over 13 seasons, was an extension.
However, it is becoming more and more clear that the Yankees intend to pass on Harper.
Second, Bryce Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, turned that deal down. But if they do, it nearly certainly won't be that deal, and Mike Rizzo acknowledged Tuesday his team can not afford to wait around.
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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. National League Rookie of the Year candidate Juan Soto, Adam Eaton and Victor Robles could start on Opening Day for Washington.
"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. For the moment, it seems he and Boras will explore options elsewhere.
Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Boras also described the system that rewards teams for tanking as a "cancer". Boras did not counter, but word is the Nationals would go higher for a reasonable offer - though how much higher remains to be seen. Nightengale says that Harper is seeking a 13-year deal that tops the average annual value of $34.42 million that Zack Greinke now has in his deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Max Scherzer got exactly $US30 million. But no position player has ever earned an average annual value of more than $27.5 million (Alex Rodriguez and Yoenis Cespedes).