‘Bank On It’: Phillies Lead Race To Sign Bryce Harper, Report Says

Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper

Harper is likely the most intriguing free agent option on the market and is going to cost a fortune to whatever team ends up bringing him on board. A team without many financial commitments, such as the Chicago White Sox, could choose to get involved and be aggressive. Major League Baseball teams had five days to negotiate with their own free agents following the end of the World Series.

The total worth of Harper's next contract will largely be determined by its length, but the six-time All-Star is expected to ink a deal worth at least $31 million per year, according to Spotrac.

The Dodgers included Yasiel Puig in trade offers they made to the Washington Nationals in July and August for their superstar outfielder, The Los Angeles Times' Jorge Castillo reported Wednesday, citing a person with knowledge of the situation.

And in strictly financial terms, they are probably going to be right about that, if it's true the bidding starts at 10 years and $300 million, which is what Harper reportedly turned down from the Washington Nationals. Indeed, the Nationals need starting pitching, a catcher and to upgrade their bench.

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.

"I'm comfortable with the alternative (to signing Harper)", Rizzo said Tuesday.

It's hard to find an executive, scout, or rival agent who doesn't believe that Harper will eventually sign with the Phillies, maybe a month from now when he can drive from his Las Vegas home to Mandalay Bay and make the official announcement himself. As Nightengale notes, the Nationals were thought to be able to retain Harper up until that report. Boras did not counter, but word is the Nationals would go higher for a reasonable offer - though how much higher remains to be seen.

Zack Greinke ($US34 million), David Price ($US31 million) and Clayton Kershaw ($US31 million) all got more.

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