Bryce Harper appears headed to the Phillies

Ross Houston
November 8, 2018

Two of the offseason's biggest targets are Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.

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. He didn't take it.

According to USA Today, which cited persons with direct knowledge of the proposed deal, the offer would have paid Harper an average of $30 million per year but expired after the Nats lost exclusive negotiating rights last week. 2018 was a bit of a down year for Harper.

So where does that leave Harper and the Nationals now? Giancarlo Stanton signed a 13-year, $325 million deal with the Marlins, but now has $270 million remaining over the next 10 years following his trade to the Yankees. Harper's agent, Scott Boras, has a history of extending contract talks with his free agent players beyond the holiday season.

This is as close to a report that the Phillies have officially signed Harper as you will ever get. The 26-year-old All-Star is one of 164 free agents on the market, but he's going to make more than anyone else available. Even in his decline, he's likely to be a very productive player.

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 back-up in centre. He has a life in Washington D.C. Maybe he's ready to move on, but it's possible he likes said life there and that could matter. He debuted at 19, spent seven seasons with the franchise and met his wife there. Once he rejects the qualifying offer - the deadline is this coming Friday - things really kick into gear regarding rumors.

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