Major League Baseball star Bryce Harper rejects $300M offer from Nationals

Phillies’ positional needs centered on but not limited to Bryce Harper and Manny Machado

Undeterred by last winter's free-agent freeze, Scott Boras...

The offer was worth roughly $300 million for 10 years with no opt-outs, per the Washington Post's Chelsea Janes.

So where does that leave Harper and the Nationals now?

Since Harper was under contract with the Nationals at the time, they had exclusive rights to negotiate with him.

Harper will test the market in search of a more lucrative contract this winter along with other notable free agents, such as infielder Manny Machado. The Nationals wanted to lock up their star, but Harper felt $30 million per year for the next decade wasn't enough money.

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At the general managers meetings on Tuesday, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo disclosed that the team had engaged in talks with Harper's agent, Scott Boras. Given Harper's history with Washington, it is likely Boras will at least circle back with the Nationals before finalizing a free agent deal for Harper with another team. They can not wait for Harper to make his decision - which many in the industry believe will come no sooner than the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas next month - and miss out on the market. Nightengale says that Harper is seeking a 13-year deal that tops the average annual value of $34.42 million that Zack Greinke now has in his deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. "I think we have a good strategy in place, a good plan in place, and we have started to begin that process and we will see where it takes us".

It's not a surprise that the Nationals would try to make sure Harper didn't hit free agency, but this is still pretty interesting.

Importantly for any future negotiations, Harper's deal would not be the largest in baseball history by average annual value. Zack Greinke ($34 million), David Price ($31 million) and Clayton Kershaw ($31 million) all got more. Max Scherzer got exactly $US30 million. But no position player has ever earned an average annual value of more than $27.5 million (Alex Rodriguez and Yoenis Cespedes).

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