Early Rumors On The Bryce Harper Market

Undeterred by last winter's free-agent freeze, Scott Boras...

Undeterred by last winter's free-agent freeze, Scott Boras...

They can not wait for Harper to make his decision - which many in the industry believe will come no sooner than the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas next month - and miss out on the market.

The Post reported on Tuesday that the offer didn't include any opt-outs and was less than the $400 million some have speculated Harper would receive after he and his agent Scott Boras held discussions throughout September. Nightengale now says that the Dodgers aren't interested in Harper, and the Cubs, ironically, seemed to put a dent in their chances to be able to afford Harper when they exercised Cole Hamels' $20 million option for 2019 last week. And the Nationals, of course, could up-the-ante. It turns out that he rejected a contract offer from the team that very day. Those are led by Bryce Harper, who, along with Manny Machado, gives this free-agent class a rarity: not one, but two 26-year-old elite sluggers.

Importantly for any future negotiations, Harper's deal would not be the largest in baseball history by average annual value. It may not have been. Giancarlo Stanton's 2014 deal, which guaranteed him $325 million over 13 seasons, was an extension. "He has done a lot in the game already, and he is just scratching the surface". He is a six-time All-Star with 184 homers, 521 RBIs and a.900 OPS.

Part of the thought in signing Harper would be that you may be paying for his peak.

In a conversation with The Post, Boras said in Harper's time with the Nationals, the club's value climbed more than four times, attendance increased by 600,000 and TV ratings tripled, and that his client had a substantial hand in those rises. It's not hard to see why Phillies managing partner John Middleton, along with general manager Matt Klentak and president Andy MacPhail, would be willing to issue a historic contract to Harper to play his home games at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

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