MLB Rumors: Bryce Harper Turned Down Big Offer from Washington Nationals, Yankees Unlikely

Bryce Harper reportedly rejected a 10-plus-year, $300 million contract extension from the Washington Nationals late last season, according to multiple reports.

The Nationals attempted to make the 26-year-old outfielder the highest-paid player in baseball history before he entered the free agent market this offseason, according to the Associated Press.

However, the former NL MVP decided to test free agency instead. According to the AP, the Nationals' originial deal is "now off the table," although the organization is willing to negotiate with the All-Star.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed that the team has negotiated in talks with Harper's agent, Scott Boras, during the general managers meetings on Tuesday.

"We've had conversations and we utilized our exclusivity to negotiate with him late in the season through when he became eligible to sign with a team,'' Rizzo told the AP. "We didn't get anything done, but he's a guy that is near and dear to us and we are not closing any doors.''

Harper is expected to receive the largest contract among this year's 164 free agents. However, it doesn't seem like the New York Yankees -- once considered a favorite to land the outfielder -- will be vying for his services, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

"As there continues to be speculation about Bryce Harper and the Yankees, a well-placed source emphatically says: 'It’s not happening. He’s not going to be a Yankee,'" Olney tweeted on Wednesday.

Harper, a six-time All-Star, has 184 career home runs, 521 RBI and a .900 on-base plus slugging percentage in seven seasons.

"He's shown the type of player he is, and now he's a grizzled veteran,'' Rizzo said. "He has done a lot in the game already, and he is just scratching the surface.''

Harper appeared in the Nationals' final regular season game last September and told reporters that he was unsure of his future.

"I can't really stand here and say it's going to be 'farewell' or anything like that, because nobody knows. Nobody knows what this offseason holds,'' he said.

Boras has typically extended talks with his free agent clients past the holiday season including Washington pitchers Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, as well as former Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth.

"It's going to be a challenge to put the best product on the field, and that could include Harper and it could be doing things without Harper,'' Rizzo said. "There is a reality that we would love to sign him, but we may not. We have to have a strategy and plan put together to win baseball games, not only for 2019 but beyond. I think we have a good strategy in place, a good plan in place, and we have started to begin that process and we will see where it takes us."

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