Bryce Harper Rumors: Phillies, Dodgers, Giants Willing to Give Historic Contract

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2019

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper points to the dugout after he hit his two-run home run during the seventh inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants are reportedly all prepared to pay a historic price for Bryce Harper as bidding for the superstar free-agent outfielder reaches its final stages.

On Thursday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the Phillies and Giants are offering the "biggest overall free-agent contract in North American sports history," while the Dodgers are focused on a shorter deal that would "obliterate Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke's $34.3 million average salary."

Harper and agent Scott Boras have been forced to wait out a second straight year of sluggish free-agent activity around MLB, which caused him to miss the start of spring training, but it appears his monster payday is finally on the horizon.

Manny Machado helped set the market by signing a 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres last week.

Harper, the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player and a six-time All-Star selection, is set to quickly eclipse that record-breaking deal if he opts for the long-term offers from Philly or San Francisco.

Meanwhile, taking the shorter deal from L.A. could allow the Las Vegas native to make more money in the immediate future while hitting free agency while at or near his peak.

Harper told Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post in September he plans to play for a long time.

"I mean, I'm only 25 years old," Harper, who turned 26 in October, said at the time. "Think about that. I'm able to play this game for another 15 years, possibly."

The slugger posted a .249/.393/.496 triple-slash line with 34 home runs and 13 stolen bases across 159 appearances for the Washington Nationals in 2018.

Although it's still unclear where Harper will land, his decision is likely to make a massive impact on the race for the NL pennant in 2019 and beyond.