Bryce Harper is destined to join the Philadelphia Phillies, according to executives polled on the free agent’s future by USA Today.
Harper, 26, turned down a 10-year, $300 million offer from the Washington Nationals on September 26. General manager Mike Rizzo said the franchise did its best to take advantage of the exclusive negotiating window while Harper was still under contract. Rizzo said that offer is now off the table and the Nationals will go about their business.
But it appears Harper to do the same with multiple suitors in the bidding. How high will they go?
Agent Scott Boras said Wednesday night that he officially opened “Harper’s Bazaar,” and estimated a contract worth $400 million-$500 million would be needed to land the slugger.
Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the highest-paid player in baseball with a 13-year, $325 million deal.
Harper, per USA Today, also wants a 13-year deal.
“It’s fashionable,’’ Boras said. “It’s historical. It’s elite. Global certainly. It has inspirations that deal with great shoes and great hair, inspirations on the part of Bryce.”
The New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs have both reportedly told Boras they aren’t landing spots for Harper. The San Francisco Giants are not expected to be interested now that the price tag is visible.
One team USA Today reported would be in the mix with the Phillies is the Los Angeles Dodgers. According to a report, the Dodgers attempted a waiver trade to acquire Harper in August. The deal would have included Yasiel Puig.
“You have an iconic player,’’ Boras said. “For an owner to know the rocket ship of economic opportunity is just blasting off because the player is just entering the prime of his career. You’re really talking about a unique and rare opportunity. ... He’s almost a lock to be a Hall of Fame player.’’
—Field Level Media