Report: Bryce Harper wants $400 million, likely to leave Nationals after 2018
Washington Nationals fans should probably enjoy Bryce Harper while they can.
The star outfielder, who is due to become a free agent after the 2018 season, is reportedly seeking at least a 10 year deal in excess of $400 million for his next contract, a Nationals executive told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The Nationals, put off by those parameters, have resigned themselves to the fact that they won’t be able to keep Harper past 2018.
At this juncture, the Nationals feel the gap between Harper’s demands and what they’re willing to offer is simply too large to overcome.
Nightengale notes that these developments are one reason that the Nationals are aggressively pursuing players like Chris Sale and Andrew McCutchen right now, with the feeling being that they have two years to find a way to win a title with Harper in the fold.
Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, downplayed the report, saying that the two sides hadn’t even discussed a long-term deal.
Scott Boras to Yahoo Sports: "I have had no discussions with the Nationals regarding Harp and a long-term contract."
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 5, 2016
That said, the numbers may not be all that far off. Harper is definitely aiming at least that high. The Nationals are behaving as aggressively as any team in the league in terms of winning now, and it seems they have good reason to. That said, anything can happen in two years.