2018 was a bit of a down year for Harper. Washington tried to lock up Harper with one of the richest deals in baseball history before he became a free agent, but he opted to test the market.
The 26-year-old slugger is primed to land a massive payday in free agency this offseason, and having reportedly turned down a 10-year, $300 million offer from the Washington Nationals, there's only one team that has a pressing need for his services and is willing to match Harper's desired price.
"Bank on it", Nightengale wrote of the Phillies signing Harper.
"He's shown the type of player he is, and now he's a grizzled veteran, " Rizzo said.
It's fair to wonder if the Nationals didn't want to make their best offer off-the-bat, though Harper rejecting such a deal is a good indication that the Scott Boras client plans to sign with highest bidder this offseason, something Boras clients tend to do.
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Harper is expected to garner interest from a multitude of teams, and among them could be the Los Angeles Dodgers.
While Harper could be exploring other options, it's still possible he might return to the Nationals. The Nationals wanted to lock up their star, but Harper felt $30 million per year for the next decade wasn't enough money.
The Phillies, who have only two players signed beyond 2020 and whose primary right fielders, Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr, combined for 25 home runs and 88 RBI last season, are prepared to offer Harper at least $400 million, according to Nightengale. Nightengale says that Harper is seeking a 13-year deal that tops the average annual value of $34.42 million that Zack Greinke now has in his deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Part of the thought in signing Harper would be that you may be paying for his peak.