Cardinals Emerge as Candidate in Bryce Harper Sweepstakes

Lynette Rowe
November 8, 2018

Mike Rizzo discussed the team's talks with agent Scott Boras at the general managers' meetings on Tuesday. Unsurprisingly, free agent Bryce Harper was a popular topic. It would give them one of the biggest stars in the game. Hence why so many players have taken so long to sign contracts in recent years.

Since Harper was under contract with the Nationals at the time, they had exclusive rights to negotiate with him. They offered Harper $300 million for 10 years in a deal that included no opt-outs, according to multiple people familiar with the terms. The deal would have been the second-richest in Major League Baseball history, trailing only Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins signed in 2014, and the third-richest in sports history.

One team USA Today reported would be in the mix with the Phillies is the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"We know who the team is, it's already completed and done", Boras said.

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Don't dismiss this news as Harper out-and-out rejecting the Nationals. For those of you without a math degree, $35 million per year over a 13-year period would be $455 million.

"It's going to be a challenge to put the best product on the field, and that could include Harper and it could be doing things without Harper", Rizzo said.

Whether the Nationals will be without Harper remains to be seen.

Thought the offer was $100 million short, there were no hard feelings between Harper and the team. The Nationals made him a qualifying offer last Friday. That would give Harper a higher total and a higher yearly average than Stanton's deal. 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).

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