With Manny Machado agreeing to a 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres, all eyes in the baseball world have turned to fellow star Bryce Harper.
Everyone is wondering where the former Nationals outfielder is going to sign and for how much money.
In the latest saga surrounding his free agency, Harper has “believed to have” rejected multiple offers over $300 million, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred.
Bryce Harper is believed to have turned down multiple offers over 300M in recent weeks. at least 5 teams are believed still in contact, tho Philly, SF and perhaps Wash appear to have more chance than SD (just gave 300M to Manny) and CWS (seemed more focused on MM)— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 20, 2019
If true, this comes as a bit of a surprise because Harper would supplant Machado as owning the biggest free-agent contract in the history of American sports. But, at the same time, Harper may be thinking about owning the richest deal in baseball history, taking over Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million deal he signed in 2014 while he was with the Marlins.
After all, he is one of the biggest faces, if not the biggest face, in the game today and whatever he does on and off the field will generate more money for his future franchise. Harper is a six-time All-Star, a MVP winner (2015), a Rookie of the Year winner (2012) and a Silver Slugger winner (2015). He also enjoyed one of his better seasons in 2018 with the Nationals, as he led the majors in walks with 130 and finished ranked in the top three among NL outfielders in RBI (second), OPS (second), runs created (second), runs created per 27 outs (second), homers (tied for second), runs (third) and extra-base hits (third).
Heyman also reports that at least a handful of clubs “are believed” to still be talking to Harper about signing him, but he mentions that the Phillies, Giants and “perhaps” the Nationals have more of a shot at landing him than the Padres and White Sox. By getting Machado, the Padres are not going to go after Harper anymore. As for the White Sox, they have been reportedly “out” of the running for Harper, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Heyman also added that the Giants are making a push for Harper, even though Nightengale recently reported that they were willing to offer Harper “a lucrative short-term deal, but have no desire to provide a long-term contract approaching the 10-year, $300 million contract Harper rejected from the Washington Nationals in September.”
The #SFGiants are telling people they are trying hard for Harper (this likely debunks the short-term theory for them, as it’s known Harper isn’t signing short-term deal). However, people who have spoken to SF brass said they aren’t necessarily overly optimistic.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 20, 2019
With Opening Day only a little over a month away, it will be interesting to see if Harper will land a record-breaking deal in time so he can be available for the start of the season.