If Bryce Harper had a time machine, we all know what he's gonna do. Or, rather, many of us think we know what it will do. He would negotiate with citizens in September and October to get Washington to raise his first $ 300 million bid for 10 years with the help of a song then signed to become a Nat's career. He was just dirty rich and happy in a city that loved his strength, personality and flame; a city that gave him a dozen standing ovations for winning the Derby at Home Run in the All-Star game. And he was going to play in front of a fan who rejected his flaws in the basics as part of the Total Bryce package – a really nice package.
It did not happen.
Harper now appears on the verge of signing the least satisfying $ 300 million deal in the history of money. He himself, and Agent Scott Boras, must thank.
When Harper is coming soon for his press conference with, probably Philadelphia Phyllis, he will tell all the enthusiastic, perhaps even cheering, things that are required of a free agent who has just signed a 10-year contract. Perhaps he would get a few percent more than $ 300 million, or perhaps not so much.
But no one will ever convince me that Harper, if he knew everything five months ago that he knew now, would not make a deal in DC
And no one will ever convince me that Boras did not do one of the worst jobs of an agent in the improper judgment of the free agent market by bringing his client into a trash can – and
Harper and Boras followed a book that has been working for 40 years. No one told them that he had a new last chapter with a surprising distortion.
Some in the MLB believed the rumors – who could possibly encourage them? – that Nats will "return" to Harper and give him the opportunity to return to the team and the city for which he has played his entire career. Right now, this is a very bad bet.
On Friday, Nats's chief owner Lerner repeated almost word-telling what he told a local radio station 10 weeks ago. "Nothing certainly changed at our end," Lerner said. "We moved. , There was no way to wait. , We filled out our list and wished nothing but the best. "
Then, as a decent gesture to Boras, who also represents Anthony Rendon and Juan Sato, by the way, Lerner added the unambiguous message:" There has always been "the door has cracked a bit." At that point I have no idea what they are doing. We really did not hear about them in a few months.
He has not heard of them for a few months ! At least for now, the only other outside Philadelphia teams that are interested in Harper are the 100 losses of White Sox, whose best bid for Machado is "only" 250 million dollars with guaranteed money, and 88 Loss of giants face a long reconstruction because the corner stones Buster Posey and Madison Bungarner look farther from their prime numbers. Phyllis has spent a great winter, adding hunter JT Realmuto, shorts Jean Segura, closer to David Robertson and outfitter Andrew McCucken while only taking out the first basketball Carlos Santana. Harper Phyllis can win NL. East. If they find the money to sign the left Dallas Kuechel, they could go to the World Series.
Harper has a chance to go to one of the great traditional baseball cities in a cozy terrain that has cost him 50 points in the past but has given him some extra holes. The fiendish fans are known for boom, but they give good parades and love their heroes – once they are accepted.
Philli also have excellent prospects why Harper has not been signed yet? Does he scream: "Nee"? Tired of waiting for Ted Lerner to say, "Come home?"
As I wrote, Harper does not return to Nats, according to the team's sources, and the players themselves have analyzed how much a team has spent this winter, and even family friends Lerner, who was told that Harper would not return.
There is only one person who has not confirmed this : Ted Lerner. And he's the only one who can say "Yes" to a $ 300 million deal.
So, all the normal statements-for months – – say the Nats have "come out" to Harper and have not committed themselves. with him in addition to a Christmas visit before Christmas, initiated by Harper. However, Ted Lerner and Boras have made great deals on which they were the only two. That's why normally responsible reporters continue to throw the name Nats into the pot: "The game is not over while Ted sings."
My clever editors ask me: Why Nats can not make a short deal with Harper? Like three or four years at 35 million dollars or more per year?
They could. But that's why it would probably be a bad baseball business to get undermined in this way.
Right now, Nats has a wage structure that works, at least in theory, for the entire five-year period in which they always
Now things can afford to sign Anthony Rendon up to a five-year extension by 2024, which is probably between $ 115 million and $ 150 million in deals by JD Martinez and Jose Altuve. We'll see if they will. But when the teams plan their future, they make assumptions: Nats want Rendon.
This Max Scherzer deal expires after 2021. Trea Turner becomes a free agent after 2022. In addition, go to the $ 100 million range for Turner, who is now a direct friend of all the stars in their eyes. These three moves could cost Nats $ 350 million from now to the end of the 2022 season.
This is alongside the new salary commitments for this winter, which can reach $ 240 million. Right now, at least on paper, Nats could have done it all.
But if you drop the Harper Treaty with luxury taxes of $ 35 million a year in the mix, then Nats will never "restart" – their luxury tax sanctions are nil.
This winter, every possible factor, as well as some unimaginable, has worked against Harper and Boras. A few months ago it seemed almost ridiculous not to "test the free agent market". Harper wanted this experience since he was a teenager. was a fair market offer for Harper. But just after the Nats "went on" when Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann rejected nine-digit bids for contact extensions, trading on Turner and signing Scherzer, the team was also moving fast from Harper.
Harper can win several world titles and MVP awards in Philadelphia. This is not a story with a predetermined unfortunate ending for him or Nats.
But when the history of a free agency is written, there may not be a more stunning and unexpected head out of season when Bryce Harper becomes the Free Agent if he accepts that the whole world of baseball will run for him.
And only Phyllis did it. Perhaps for no more money than he already had, if he did not do anything.