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Cardinals Emerge as Candidate in Bryce Harper Sweepstakes

09 November, 2018, 19:41 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Bryce Harper

So hefty, in fact, that it is expected to exceed the $300 million mark after he turned down a 10-year offer for that much from the Washington Nationals, the team he spent the first seven years of his career with.

As Allen pointed out, Harper's timing is interesting, as he has become a free agent after his contract with the Nationals expired at the conclusion of the 2018 season. Washington's offer would have been the biggest free agent deal by total money paid in the history of the four major American sports leagues. The Nationals reportedly made Harper a huge long-term offer at the end of the regular season, but he declined it.

However, his quick rejection of the deal doesn't exactly inspire hope he'll be returning to Washington. 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.

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.

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He has 10 years left on a 13-year, $325 million contract where he'll be making between $26 million and $32 million every year through the 2028 season.

Since Harper was under contract with the Nationals at the time, they had exclusive rights to negotiate with him. "But I'm not comfortable with the statement that we're a better team without him".

This offseason is going to be lucrative for Bryce Harper. His clients include Nationals pitchers Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, and former Nats outfielder Jayson Werth. Zack Greinke ($34 million), David Price ($31 million) and Clayton Kershaw ($31 million) all got more. But no position player has ever earned an average annual value of more than $27.5 million (Alex Rodriguez and Yoenis Cespedes). It was not enough.

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