Throughout the long frenzy over which team baseball free agent Bryce Harper might choose, many of the rumors have suggested that a Harper signing was imminent, or perhaps coming within the next day or two.
The latest report on Harper does the opposite as it suggests that Harper’s free agency may last longer than commonly thought.
Reporter Jon Heyman said on Twitter Monday afternoon that “with several teams, Harper derby may take a few or even several more days.” Heyman went on to note that while the Philadelphia Phillies remain the favorite for the outfielder, the Giants, Padres, and White Sox remain in contention, as does Harper’s current team, the Washington Nationals, a club that “hasn’t been at forefront but could come late.”
Heyman went on to state that previous rumors that the Nationals have been given a chance to match any offer for Harper are not true.
The report that the Nationals are still in the Harper hunt follows a column over the weekend by Thomas Boswell in the Washington Post, as cited by the Inquisitr, in which one veteran Nationals player went along with Boswell’s criticism of Harper’s fundamentals. The column also implied that elements within the Nationals organization feel that Harper had not been an effective team leader during his seven years in Washington.
Heyman had also reported over the weekend, and also on Twitter, that Harper has received multiple long-term offers, that several of them had been for in excess of $30 million a year, that Philadelphia remained the favorite to land Harper, and that the player, contrary to other reports, would not be signing a short-term deal.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) February 17, 2019
Another reporter, Bob Nightengale, said on Twitter Sunday that the offers Harper was receiving at the time were for more than the 10 years and $300 million that the outfielder had rejected from the Nationals toward the end of last season.
Multiple reports last week had agreed that the Philadelphia Phillies were the most likely landing spot for Harper. However, a rumor in the Philadelphia media that Phillies team employees had been asked to come into work on Monday, presumably to deal with an influx of ticket orders resulting from a Harper signing, does not appear to have been true.
The 26-year-old Harper has only ever played for Washington since they drafted him at age 17 as the top overall pick in the 2010 draft. Harper, while emerging as one of baseball’s elite players, has never won a playoff series during his time in Washington.