Dodgers offered Puig to Nats in Bryce Harper trade

Bryce Harper

With just over a month until the MLB Winter Meetings, it doesn't appear that a decision from Harper (or any major free-agent) is imminent. Giancarlo Stanton's 2014 deal, which guaranteed him $325 million over 13 seasons, was an extension.

Bryce Harper made it clear at the last home game of the 2018 season that he enjoyed playing for the Washington Nationals.

The Los Angeles Dodgers previously offered outfielder Yasiel Puig to the Washington Nationals in a trade for Bryce Harper, according to the Los Angeles Times. A team without many financial commitments, such as the Chicago White Sox, could choose to get involved and be aggressive.

Without casting doubt on any of these reports, it's important to remember how quickly things can change in free-agency, especially as we approach the Winter Meetings, which will begin on December 9 in Harper's hometown of Las Vegas.

For years now, Boras has been selling Harper - who at the age of 26 is already a six-time All Star, a former National League MVP and was the 2012 rookie of the year - as a talent so rare he could command more than $US400 million. But if they do, it nearly certainly won't be that deal, and Mike Rizzo acknowledged Tuesday his team can not afford to wait around.

"I'm comfortable with the alternative (to Harper re-signing)", Rizzo added. "There is a reality that we would love to sign him, but we may not".

Whether the Nationals will be without Harper remains to be seen. Boras also has Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg as clients.

At the general managers meetings on Tuesday, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo disclosed that the team had engaged in talks with Harper's agent, Scott Boras.

Given Harper's history with the Nationals, he seems unlikely to make a deal elsewhere without first circling back. Even though Harper is still only 26, a 14-year deal with an average annual value of $30 million per season felt a bit excessive.

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