After what will almost certainly go down as the most famous free agent signing in recent history Mike Rizzo offered his thoughts on Bryce’s decision to leave D.C. and make the trip north to Philly.
Harper and his super agent Scott Boras turned down a 10-year, $300 million offer from the Washington Nationals that was presented at the last home game of the 2018 season. The offered deal included no opt-outs with deferred money until Harper was 61.
With Harper staying in the division it means Harper will face the Nationals early and often during the next 13 seasons. Harper makes his return to D.C. April 2 which will most likely be a game that’s a sellout if not close to a sellout.
“He’s one of our own. We drafted him. We signed him. We developed him. Watched him turn into a star with Washington on his chest,” Rizzo said on the Sports Junkies. “I will high five him or hug him when I see him and then I’m gonna want to beat his [expletive] and he’s gonna want to do the same to me.”
After Harper turned down the offer, Rizzo and co. told Harper that they would move on with or without him in the lineup.
“We had to put an expiration date on it because we couldn’t let that linger on until March 2 when he signed and try and get the rest of our business down,” Rizzo added. “We fired, what I thought, was an extremely market-valued, aggressive offer as our primary offer and put an expiration date on it. That wasn’t to say after the first day of free agency we weren’t going to discuss it again, but certainly when the Patrick Corbin signing took place, then it became more difficult.
While Rizzo didn’t clearly state how much money was deferred it was reported by The Washington Post that the deferment last for four decades. Harper and Boras never countered the Nationals original offer