The Washington Post also reported that a meeting between Harper and Nationals owner Ted Lerner took place on the Sunday before Christmas, but initially people within the team refused to confirm it before later admitting that there had been more than one meeting during the winter.
The Manny Machado saga looks nearly certain to conclude before fellow in-demand free agent Bryce Harper's, after interested teams stepped up their pursuit three days into the New Year. Boras met with the Phillies during the winter meetings in Vegas last month, but unlike other teams, the Phillies didn't meet with Harper in his hometown. Per Bowden, the 10-year, $300MM offer was merely the first offer the Nationals made to their erstwhile superstar.
It can be assumed that Harper also has emotional ties to the Washington organization. Nightengale tweeted just a few minutes later that Philadelphia will likely make the highest offer to both Machado and Harper, making it even more intriguing to see which player ends up where. And quite honestly, the focus on the number of the years for either player, but particularly Harper, has been overblown to this point. The Dodgers still have plenty of moves to make this off-season but which route they take will depend on if they can bring the crown jewel of this year's free agency back to Los Angeles.
The formal offer seems to tally with 670 The Score Bruce Levine's claim that the White Sox were not ready to offer Machado or Harper the 10-year deal they desire, but would only give them a maximum of seven years. There is a big difference between $160 million and $400 million dollars.
Bryce Harper is expected to meet the Philadelphia Phillies in the coming weeks to decide on his next destination. Clearly, with the meetings, and the timing of those meetings, there does seem to be some level of interest on the Nats' side as well as Harper's.
It doesn't appear like a signing will occur anytime soon, but now it appears that Harper might be staying in Washington, D.C. after all.
Rumor has it around the league that the Yankees, White Sox, and Dodgers are all somewhat in the mix to acquire the 26-year-old outfielder as well.