Nationals, Bryce Harper Remain Open To Future Negotiations

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado? Phillies fans shouldn’t hold their breath

The Phillies aren’t likely to bring in both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. AP

"I'm comfortable with the alternative [to signing Harper]", Rizzo said.

Harper rejected a 10-year offer worth $300 million from the Nationals late this past season.

In the meantime, Harper will continue to field offers from other teams in hopes of landing a record-setting deal.

"He's shown the type of player he is, and now he's a grizzled veteran, " Rizzo said.

However, it is becoming more and more clear that the Yankees intend to pass on Harper.

Harper headlines one of the most valuable free-agent classes in Major League Baseball history, which also includes infielder Manny Machado, closer Craig Kimbrel and former Cy Young Award victor Dallas Keuchel.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers don't have interest. Harper rejected the deal, electing instead to test the market as a free agent.

He has 10 years left on a 13-year, $325 million contract where he'll be making between $26 million and $32 million every year through the 2028 season.

The Nationals wanted to lock up their star, but Harper felt $30 million per year for the next decade wasn't enough money.

Importantly for any future negotiations, Harper's deal would not be the largest in baseball history by average annual value. A source close to Harper's situation said: "he's not going to be a Yankee". "He has done a lot in the game already, and he is just scratching the surface". It's not hard to see why Phillies managing partner John Middleton, along with general manager Matt Klentak and president Andy MacPhail, would be willing to issue a historic contract to Harper to play his home games at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

Harper is a six-time All-Star with 184 homers, 521 RBIs and a.900 on-base plus slugging percentage. Though it feels unlikely that he'll have a better season than his 2015 National League MVP season - a season in which he hit.330 with 42 home runs and a staggering 9.3 fWAR - many of his best career years should still be in front of him.

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