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Bryce Harper says he was ‘hurt’ by Nationals’ contract offer

Bryce Harper

CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 07: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies at bat against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning of a Grapefruit League spring training game on March 07, 2020 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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Before outfielder Bryce Harper signed a record 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies, the six-time All-Star was trying to remain with the Washington Nationals. At the end of the 2018 regular season, the club made him a $300 million offer. However, $100 million of that would have been deferred, lowering the present-day value. The present-day equivalent was $244 million. Harper moved on and ultimately latched on with the Phillies.

A recent guest on Barstool Sports’ Starting 9 podcast, Harper said he was “hurt” by the Nats’ offer . Harper said about a meeting he had with Nationals managing owner Mark Lerner, “I thought we had a really good meeting. I walked out of there and said, ‘Scott [Boras], get it done.’ I got back an offer and it hurt. So we kind of just turned the page on to the new year.”

The Nationals moved on without Harper. During Harper’s tenure in D.C., the club had many close calls in the postseason, losing the 2012 NLDS in five games, the 2014 NLDS in four games, and both the 2016 and ’17 NLDS in five games. The Nationals finally got over the hump last year, defeating the Brewers in the NL Wild Card game, edging the Dodgers in the NLDS in five games, sweeping the Cardinals out of the NLCS, then overtaking the Astros in Game 7 of the World Series to win the first championship in franchise history.

Harper, meanwhile, had a productive first season with the Phillies but it was ultimately a disappointment given the sky-high expectations for himself and for the team. The Phillies finished 81-81 while Harper hit .260/.372/.510 with 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 682 plate appearances. The 2020 season, if and when it begins, will mark year two of the 13-year deal.

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