Here’s what we know: pitchers and catchers report tomorrow, and Bryce Harper still has not signed anywhere.
The playing field seems to change every day and no route seems more correct than another. Let’s breakdown this week’s anticipation for Harper to sign sooner than later.
Earlier in the week, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that the Giants were going to offer Harper a "a lucrative short-term deal."
The #SFGiants are quite serious about Bryce Harper as late entrants into the free-agent frenzy, but its unknown whether they would offer a long-term deal instead of their plan for a short-term contract. https://t.co/5gzD5fjYcz— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 10, 2019
The next day, Cal Ripken talked to the Junkies about how many more teams could be considered if they are willing to offer similarly short-term, high annual salary deals to bring Harper in.
After this idea simmered around rumor mills for a day, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman ruled out that possibility for Harper, claiming he is not "even considering" short-term deals.
Despite rumored offers/wishes of teams, word is Bryce Harper is not signing — or even considering — short-term deals.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 12, 2019
David Murphy, a sports columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer, gave some perspective compared to previously large free agent signings that cut it close to spring training.
A thought on Bryce Harper/Manny Machado: There's a difference between a lack of offers and a lack of reporting about offers. A dormant rumor mill does not mean a dormant offseason. JD Martinez signed for 5 years and $110 mil on Feb. 19, Darvish: 6/126 on Feb. 13, Hosmer 8/144.— David Murphy (@ByDavidMurphy) February 12, 2019
Does any of this provide concrete guidance? Do I know any more than you do about where Bryce Harper could possibly sign? I don't think so.
Of everything said this week, I think this indicates the most: Tom Wilson told NBC4 that Harper recently unfollowed a handful of Capitals players on social media.
Read the tea leaves, or don’t. It's time to focus on spring training.
MORE NATIONALS NEWS:
- Snapped: Machado posts White Sox baby shoes
- Hot Stove: Cal Ripken weighs in on Harper and Machado's free agency
- What a Relief: MLB Network names Doolittle second-best reliever
- Surprise! Here's the new team eyeing Bryce Harper