Bryce Harper’s free agency is the number one story in Washington, D.C., and maybe the biggest story in all of baseball. It’s probably the most highly-anticipated free agency since Alex Rodriguez’s and until he signs on the dotted line, every twist and turn of his negotiations are going to get people talking.
On Wednesday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reported that the mega-deal Harper had turned down at the end of the regular season was for a whopping $300 million.
Nationals’ offer to Bryce Harper was roughly $300 million for 10 years — so an AAV of $30 million — according to multiple people familiar with it. No opt outs.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) November 7, 2018
As Janes points out in her story, the $300 million offer would represent the highest contract total ever given out in any of the major four sports’ free agencies. It’s important to note the caveat that, while the preceding sentence is technically correct, a 10-year, $300 million deal would not be the biggest contract of any kind in baseball history, as Giancarlo Stanton signed an extension with the Marlins totaling $325 million.
It seems pretty clear that Harper wants to set a new record, free of all caveats.
Whenever news breaks about Bryce Harper, fans of all opinions come out in full force on social media. Wednesday was no different, as a professional athlete passing up more than a quarter of a billion dollars is going to elicit some reactions.
Gee, that's too bad. Bye.— Bernadette (@BernadetteStim1) November 7, 2018
Bryce Harper the brand is significantly more valuable than Bryce Harper the player. These 300 mill 💵 contract offers are nuts. For what?— Marc Ryan (@MarcRyanOnAir) November 7, 2018
In seven years, number of seasons
> 100 RBI = 0
> .300 average = 2
> 29 Home Runs = 2
> 150 games played = 2
What am I paying for, exactly?
Bryce Harper turned down a $300 million/10 year contract with the @Nationals. I'd happily sign with them for 1/3 of that...just putting it out there, Washington.— Dan Joyce (@DanRocks98) November 7, 2018
If Bryce Harper rejected a 10 year $300 million dollar offer from the Nationals, that tells me that he wants out of Washington.— Bobby (@hiphopguru8282) November 7, 2018
Members of the baseball national media reacted to Janes’ report as well, with opinions split on whether or not the deal actually represented an “aggressive” offer as stated. Still, most writers seem to feel this was at the very least a fair offer for a player of Harper’s talent and experience.
I wouldn't call the contract the Nats made Harper an ‘aggressive offer.’ At best it was at the low end of market value for such a desirable free agent. At worst it was insulting w/o an opt out clause (or two).https://t.co/uxChTtE6uh— Neil Greenberg (@ngreenberg) November 7, 2018
That's a stronger offer than I guessed they'd make. https://t.co/BqQt41cppA— keithlaw (@keithlaw) November 7, 2018
I think Harper/Boras see this, with an opt out tossed in, as a floor that they could come back to in February if the market doesn’t play out as they expect. Hard to turn down and more than I’d expected the Nats to offer this early. https://t.co/pubuXBHPeA— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) November 7, 2018
thoughts: 1. it's likely now harper will beat stanton's $325M record. 2. it's a nice try, but the nats had to believe it was a long shot to prevent a superstar from filing for free agency with days to go. 3. hard to imagine he can't just go back & take it/negotiate off it. https://t.co/d6DGOZPXUj— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 7, 2018
#Nationals surely knew Harper and Scott Boras would never accept $300M without opt-outs as first offer. Nats could still be fallback if Harper does not get what he wants - if they are willing to wait. Bar now set for other interested teams. Harper goal: Beat Stanton’s $325M. https://t.co/kbeFlpXfDO— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 7, 2018
Even other professional baseball players weighed in.
Good for Bryce Harper for being able to turn down 300 million. If I had that kind of confidence in myself I’d probably be a lot better of a pitcher. With that kind of confidence I’m sure he’ll get more and his play during his contract will show he was worth it!— Pat Light (@Pat_Light) November 7, 2018
Light, of course, has not experienced nearly the same level of success as Harper, but he’s certainly familiar with the finances of baseball. It’s interesting to see how he views Harper’s rejection of the deal as a sign of his incredible self-confidence, a necessary trait for any athlete.
From fans, to the media, to his peers on the field, everyone has thoughts on Harper’s free agency. We’ve all daydreamed about winning the lottery at one point or another, but Bryce Harper is actually going to bring in life-changing money this upcoming season. We’ll have to see where the story goes from here, but one thing is certain: Whatever ends up happening, fans on Twitter will let you know how they feel.
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