Bryce Harper is the most sought-after free agent in baseball this offseason with numerous franchises showing interest in signing the right-fielder. The saga will continue into the New Year with the player not expected to make a decision any time soon.
The 26-year-old has attracted interest from the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago White Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers and a number of other franchises. Many meetings between Harper, his agent Scott Boras and the teams are reported to have been held before, during and after the winter meetings.
The Phillies and the White Sox are said to be willing to offer record deals worth over $300 million, which Harper is seeking, with the former’s principal owner John Middleton admitting that they could spend a stupid amount of money this off-season. But a recent report by Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggested that the right-fielder’s preference is to join the Yankees, however, the New York franchise have shown little interest in signing him this summer.
Harper played for the Washington Nationals from 2012 to 2018 before becoming a free agent and according to MLB.com’s Jamal Collier, the right-fielder’s former franchise are still not ruling out a potential reunion.
The Nationals are said to have already made an offer of around $300 million over 10-years to the right-fielder and his agent, but they were turned down. They have since signed free agent Patrick Corbin in a $140 million deal, while also planning for life without Harper by bringing other players to reinforce the team.
It remains to be seen if the Nationals, who are keen on Harper, will return with a better offer or make their stand with the previously offered $300 million 10-year deal.
The Dodgers have also been ever present in the Harper chase and are certainly among the contenders – but the Los Angeles franchise are said to be looking at a more short-term deal rather than the $300+ million over 10-years that Harper is seeking. The Chicago Cubs have also recently been touted as potential contenders with reports suggesting their tight budget might not be so tight after all.
The Chicago franchise are said to be trying to make one big push to land the right-fielder, but could lose out if it becomes a bidding war due to the funds available to the Phillies and the White Sox.
Meanwhile, Collier also reports that the Nationals are looking at multiple options for second base. They are said to have reached out to representatives of DJ LeMahieu, Josh Harrison, Jed Lowrie and Marwin Gonzalez among others.