After winning their fourth World Series title in the last 15 years, you might think that all eyes would be on the Boston Red Sox after the completion of the 2018 season.
But this is just simply not the case. The Red Sox seem to be an afterthought because all eyes are on Bryce Harper.
Harper, who is considered one of the best players in the MLB, is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Everyone is watching to see where he lands.
A lot of reports suggested that Harper would end up right back in D.C. and remain with the Nationals for the rest of his career. But according to a couple of unnamed sources, this will not be the case.
According to these sources, the Nationals made an “aggressive” offer to Harper on the last day of the season. The deal was rumored to be 10 years and $300 million, which would have been the biggest free-agent deal in MLB history.
Surprisingly enough, Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, declined the rich offer and elected for free agency.
Obviously, many people questioned Harper’s decision to turn down the biggest free-agent contract in MLB history, but Boras has other plans for the star outfielder.
According to Boras, his client is much more than a player. He said Harper can single-handedly turn around a franchise, increase ticket sales, TV ratings, and make any team more money.
With this philosophy, Boras said his client is not worth $300 million, but instead more like $400 million.
The Nationals will look to move on without with their former franchise player next season, as the team will use free agency to get starting pitching and a catcher.
But what’s next for Harper?
Of the teams that he is interested in going to, the Philadelphia Phillies appear to be the front runners in the Bryce Harper Sweepstakes.
Harper was been linked to several teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and the New York Yankees.
However, signing with any of these teams seems very unlikely, which leaves the Phillies.
While Los Angeles can indeed afford that kind of contract, the reigning NL champions have shown zero interest in spending that kind of money on one guy.
The Yankees can also afford that kind of contract, but they have little interest in bringing in another outfielder. The Yankees outfield is already loaded, plus it appears as if the Yankees are pursuing the other highly-coveted free agent this year, Manny Machado.
Currently, the Cubs cannot afford to sign Harper to this kind of mega contract without first taking some money off their books. Their two worst contracts, Yu Darvish and Jason Heyward, would have to be traded in order to make room for Harper. However, no teams are interested in taking on either of these two contracts, making it unlikely that the Cubs will get Harper.
It also appears unlikely for the Cardinals. While they do have the capital to go out and get Harper, he has said in the past that he wants to play for a big market team. And frankly, the market of St. Louis is probably not big enough for Harper.
This leaves only the Philadelphia Phillies – a young, up-and-coming team that was a few pieces away from being a contender last season. Signing Harper could put them over the top and give them a good chance at a World Series.
If Philadelphia wants to go out and pay crazy money to get Harper, it appears as if he is all theirs.
But what remains to be unseen is if Harper will grow to regret his questionable decision of turning down $300 million.
Harper is indeed one of the best players in the league and deserves to be paid, but $400 million seems unreasonable and quite frankly, any team that is willing to pay that is insane.