Free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, still hunting for a long-term deal, has reportedly turned down multiple offers worth at least $300 million in recent weeks, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
All eyes are on Harper after the San Diego Padres reportedly agreed Tuesday to give shortstop Manny Machado a 10-year, $300 million deal, the second biggest in major league history in terms of total value.
That leaves Harper as the gem of this free agent class, looking to top the Machado deal.
Heyman wrote that five teams are in contact with Harper and agent Scott Boras, but two teams appear to be in the lead — the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies — while other reports indicate teams are dropping out.
Nats still in the hunt?
Harper’s former team, the Washington Nationals, could still be in the picture, according to reports. He turned down a reported 10-year, $300 million deal from the Nationals late last season.
The Chicago White Sox, who missed out on the Machado sweepstakes, are out of the bidding for Harper, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported Wednesday, writing that the team preferred to target other free agents. He mentioned infielder Marwin Gonzalez and starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez, as lower-cost possibilities.
The Padres had courted Harper before signing Machado; a high-ranking team source told the San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday regarding Harper: “We’re not signing him.”
Harper, 26, has made six All-Star teams in his seven major league seasons, all with the Washington Nationals. He was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 2015 when he posted career highs with 42 homers, a .460 on-base percentage and a .649 slugging percentage — all league-best totals.
Last season, he hit .249 with a .393 on-base percentage, a .496 slugging percentage, 34 homers and a career-best 100 RBIs. He led the National League with 130 walks.
–Field Level Media