A pivot hit the Bryce Harper pursuit this week when multiple reports placed the Nationals back in the mix.
They met with Harper following the Winter Meetings, according to those reports, putting a twist on their standing with the uber-free agent this offseason.
That change anchored discussion on the most recent Racing Presidents podcast. What does it mean for the Nationals? What does it mean for the Harper market?
Washington again meeting with Harper becomes a two-fold situation. First, it allows the Nationals to appear they are back in negotiations after prior public statements indicated they could be out. Second, it does improve their chances. Even if that improvement is merely incremental.
Mike Rizzo contended the Nationals’ door was open for further talks. Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, said his long-standing relationship with the Lerner family prompts him to listen to what they have to say.
“The Lerners and Bryce are both collectively going to do what’s best for them,” Boras told NBC Sports Washington at the Winter Meetings. “I think going into this situation in D.C. whether it be Max [Scherzer] or [Stephen Strasburg] or even the draft picks themselves, we’ve had very productive results and the franchise has grown dramatically.
“They’re a multi-billion dollar franchise. Their attendance has gone up from way back when they started in the early 2010s. The winning has been great. I’m sure they want to get to the higher levels. But for franchises that hope to aspire to where they are, I think it’s all gone positively. It’s been a great working relationship with the Lerner family and the Nationals and Mike Rizzo. For those reasons we just continue to talk and see where we can go.”
It seems those talks have continued. Though, it’s still unclear where they can go.
Hear more on Thursday's Racing Presidents podcast.
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