Nationals owner Mark Lerner says he doesn’t expect Bryce Harper to return to Washington after telling the superstar outfielder that the team maxed out its offer at the end of the regular season.
Multiple reports said Harper, the 2015 National League MVP, rejected a 10-year contract worth approximately $300 million in September.
Lerner didn’t discuss the exact offer that was given to Harper, but he said the Nationals couldn’t comfortably offer more and field a competitive team around the six-time All-Star.
“When we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, ‘This is the best we can do.’ We went right to the finish line very quickly,” Lerner told 106.7 The Fan. “And we said, ‘If this is of interest to you, please come back to us, and we’ll see whether we can finish it up.’ But we just couldn’t afford to put more than that in and still be able to put a team together that had a chance to win the NL East or go farther than that.”
Even if Harper, 26, were willing to accept the previous Nationals offer, Lerner said he wasn’t sure the team could now make it work.cheap nfl nike jerseys china
The Nationals officially signed left-hander Patrick Corbin on Friday to a heavily back-loaded six-year deal worth $140 million. At a news conference introducing Corbin on Friday, general manager Mike Rizzo said the deal wasn’t relevant to what might happen with Harper.
“I think they’re independent of each other. I really do,” Rizzo said. “We’ve gone about this business of creating a roster for 2019, and at the end of the day, we’ll figure out whether that includes Harp or not.
“We thought it was good business — we had to fix the things we needed to fix. Harp is a big part of our family and we’d love to have him back.”
No timeline has been given for when Harper is expected to sign with a team. Harper is expected to receive the largest contract in free agency this year, and Boras is known for extending talks with his free agents past the holiday break.
Without Harper, the Nationals would have Adam Eaton, Juan Soto, Michael Taylor and Victor Robles in their outfield.
“We feel very strongly we’re in good shape,” Lerner said. “It’ll be a young, pretty incredible outfield defensively, and certainly with the bat, it’s going to be special.“cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
And now the Nationals have Corbin joining a star-studded rotation with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.
Corbin gets a $2.5 million signing bonus payable next Oct. 31 and salaries of $12.5 million next season, $19 million in 2020, $24 million in 2021, $23 million in 2022, $24 million in 2023 and $35 million in 2024 — when he turns 35. The final year’s salary includes $10 million that will be deferred without interest and payable on Jan. 15, 2026.