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While Harper's presence on the Nats is realistically one of the myriad factors that have effected those changes, those types of milestones could very well carry more weight with some franchise owners than with baseball operations leaders.

Many in the industry believe star outfielder Bryce Harper's final destination for next season will come no sooner than the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas next month.

So where does that leave Harper and the Nationals now?

Since Harper was under contract with the Nationals at the time, they had exclusive rights to negotiate with him.

This year's MLB free agent class has been hyped up as one of the biggest in league history.

Janes added, "Important on Harper: Both sides considered this a respectful offer". They can not wait for Harper to make his decision - which many in the industry believe will come no sooner than the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas next month - and miss out on the market.

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As Allen pointed out, Harper's timing is interesting, as he has become a free agent after his contract with the Nationals expired at the conclusion of the 2018 season.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo addressed the Harper situation Tuesday and acknowledged that the team has a talented options in the outfield without Harper if he were to sign elsewhere. For those of you without a math degree, $35 million per year over a 13-year period would be $455 million.

"I'm comfortable with the alternative (to Harper returning)", Rizzo said. "But I'm not comfortable with the statement that we're a better team without him".

Given Harper's history with the Nationals, he seems unlikely to make a deal elsewhere without first circling back.

Zack Greinke ($US34 million), David Price ($US31 million) and Clayton Kershaw ($US31 million) all got more. It was not enough.


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