Bryce Harper Rumors: Nationals Offered 'Much More' Than $300 Million

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2019

Washington Nationals Bryce Harper, looks at the baseball field from their dug out before the start of the Nationals last home game of the season against the Miami Marlins in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

Even after signing pitcher Patrick Corbin to a six-year, $140 million contract earlier this offseason, it appears the Washington Nationals still have plenty of money to offer 2015 National League MVP Bryce Harper.

The Athletic's Jim Bowden reported Friday that Washington's latest offer was "much more than the $300 million being reported by the media."

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported in November that Harper rejected a 10-year, $300 million offer made in September, opting to test the open market instead. That was just the first offer on the table, per Bowden.

Harper let it be known in September, per the Washington Post's Barry Svrluga, that he would be interested in re-signing with the Nationals. However, it appeared early on this offseason that the 2010 No. 1 overall pick's time in the nation's capital may be over.

Nationals owner Mark Lerner told 106.7 The Fan in December:

"When we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, 'This is the best we can do.' We went right to the finish line very quickly. And we said, 'If this is of interest to you, please come back to us and we'll see whether we can finish it up.' But we just couldn't afford to put more than that in and still be able to put a team together that had a chance to win the NL East or go farther than that."

All hope has not been lost, though. ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Wednesday that Harper has met with Nationals representatives multiple times this offseason and that a reunion isn't being ruled out.

It's not clear what other offers the six-time All-Star may have received.

Harper, 26, is coming off a season in which he slashed .249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs, 34 doubles and 100 RBI in 159 games. He hit just .214 during the first half of the season but finished his walk year strong with a .300 average following the All-Star break.

A Home Run Derby title in front of his home crowd highlighted his 2018 campaign:

The Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees, among others, are teams that have been linked to Harper this offseason.

Related

    Your 2019 Washington Nationals team is almost complete!

    Washington Nationals logo
    Washington Nationals

    Your 2019 Washington Nationals team is almost complete!

    Stephen G. "Ghost" Mears
    via TalkNats.com

    Nationals’ hitting coach Kevin Long on how Bryce Harper turned his season around in 2018...

    Washington Nationals logo
    Washington Nationals

    Nationals’ hitting coach Kevin Long on how Bryce Harper turned his season around in 2018...

    Federal Baseball
    via Federal Baseball

    Dozier and Long a match made in launch angle heaven

    Washington Nationals logo
    Washington Nationals

    Dozier and Long a match made in launch angle heaven

    NBC Sports Washington
    via NBC Sports Washington