The Washington Nationals reportedly offered Bryce Harper a 10-year $300 million contract, but according to The Athletic's Jim Bowden, that was only the first offer made by GM Mike Rizzo and the front office.
According to Bowden, Washington actually offered "much more than the $300 million" that was thrown around by insiders. How much more lucrative the contract was is unknown, but it obviously wasn't enough to retain the 2015 National League MVP.
Harper - who is expected to earn at least $350 million in his next deal - remains unsigned, along with many of the other top free agents. All-Stars Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel are among the big names that continue to await a new contract.
The Nationals appear to be moving on from Harper at this point, as the Lerner family ownership emphasized before they couldn't go beyond their final offer to him. Washington already made one big splash in free agency, signing starting pitcher Patrick Corbin to a six-year deal worth $140 million.
Harper finished 2018 with 34 home runs, 100 RBI, a .249 batting average and .889 OPS - considerably below his career totals of .279 and .900, respectively. But Harper remains an elite power hitter and would simply be a huge money draw to whichever team signs him.
Harper is a six-time All-Star and won the aforementioned NL MVP award in 2015. He's been one of the most marketed and popular athletes since his sensational 2012 rookie season - where Harper helped Washington reach the postseason for the first time since relocating from Montreal.
Though he remains unsigned, Harper is set to land the richest contract in MLB history. Right now, Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million deal signed with the Miami Marlins in 2014 remains the largest ever.
What This Means
The Nationals simply decided that they can't pour all of their money into one superstar player, instead using the cash to address multiple areas on the roster. As good as Harper is, few players in baseball are worthy of a $350 million contract. Even the Nationals don't think a former MVP and young superstar is worth it.