It looks like the Washington Nationals will not be able to keep their star outfielder Bryce Harper. Nationals’ owner Mark Lerner recently spoke with the media and said that he doesn’t expect Harper, who became a free agent after the 2018 season ended, to return to Washington next year.
“I really don’t expect him to come back at this point,” – Lerner told 106.7 The Fan. “I think they’ve decided to move on. There’s just too much money out there that he’d be leaving on the table. That’s just not Mr. Boras’ M.O. to leave money on the table.”
Lerner added that the team couldn’t make a better financial offer to the 26-year-old than the one they presented him in September, or they wouldn’t be able to keep a competitive team for the future.
“When we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, ‘This is the best we can do.’ We went right to the finish line very quickly” – Lerner added. “And we said, ‘If this is of interest to you, please come back to us, and we’ll see whether we can finish it up.’ But we just couldn’t afford to put more than that in and still be able to put a team together that had a chance to win the NL East or go farther than that.”
Although the Washington Nationals owner didn’t discuss the details of the offer they presented to Bryce Harper, it was reportedly a 10-year contract worth around $300 million.
It is believed that there are 12 teams – including Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, and Chicago Cubs – who are interested in Harper and will meet or have already met with the 2015’s NL MVP.
Harper had a good showing in 2018, earning his fourth consecutive All-Star appearance and putting up some impressive numbers including .249 batting average, 100 RBI and 34 home runs.