Although Bryce Harper wasn’t necessarily expected to make a quick decision as a free agent, the process has unfolded as more of a trickle than drawn out because of widespread interest. Harper’s market is largely believed to consist of a handful of teams.
Thus far, the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies have been connected to the 26-year-old more so than other clubs. Coincidentally, they are also believed to have interest in Manny Machado, with the White Sox reportedly submitting a contract offer this week while maintaining contact with Harper.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals have remained on the periphery with Harper. The Nationals reportedly presented him with a 10-year, $300 million contract extension prior to the 2018 regular season coming to a close.
According to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, the Nationals have since made another offer to Harper that exceeded the previous amount:
#Nationals last offer to Bryce Harper was actually “much more than the $300m being reported by the media” according to a source. Apparently, The 10-year $300m offer was actually just the team’s 1st offer to Harper.
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) January 4, 2019
Last month, Nationals owner Mark Lerner cast doubt on the likelihood of re-signing Harper. Lerner also indicated the club would not go past 10 years and $300 million for the 2015 National League MVP.
The Nationals have been plenty active as Harper’s future hangs in the balance, trading for Yan Gomes and signing Patrick Corbin, Matt Adams and Anibal Sanchez. They have also been tied to Brian Dozier and D.J. LeMahieu, who could be second basemen of interest for the Dodgers.