The Nationals reportedly offered Bryce Harper a $300 million contract, which is promptly turned down for a variety of reasons.
Bryce Harper has spent the last seven seasons playing for the Washington Nationals, using that time to become one of the best ballplayers on the planet. He’s been a National League Rookie of the Year, a National League MVP, a six-time All-Star, a Silver Slugger winner, a Home Run Derby winner and much more.
But now Harper, who just turned 26-years old in October, has reached the point that every sports fan dreads: their superstar is hitting free agency.
Harper is free to sign with any team he chooses, and make as much money as he possibly can. A lot of factors will go into where he ultimately signs, but loyalty to the Nationals organization doesn’t seem like one. According to the Washington Post, the Nats offered him a hefty contract in the neighborhood of $300 million over ten years and Harper turned it down.
It’s not an easy pill to swallow, even though we knew this was coming, but Harper doesn’t seem interested in taking a hometown discount to remain with the team he came up with, and the organization and city in which he blossomed into one baseball’s biggest superstars. It might be that he doesn’t want to come back at all, something the Nationals could view as mutual if the length of the contract isn’t to their liking.
Harper’s agent is Scott Boras, who almost never lets any of his clients sign cheaper contracts and will likely be looking to get Harper multiple big contracts in the future. The money will no doubt factor into Harper’s decision but so too will the chance to win a World Series during his next contract. Washington has had Harper since he was a teenager and during his seven seasons have barely done much more than sniff the postseason. Even when this past season looked promising early on, an epic collapse in the second half kept Washington out of the playoffs once again.
That’s been the status quo for the Nationals and there’s an argument to be made that Harper has seen enough. Turning down $300 million certainly seems to aggressively suggest that.