Friday could have been spent on Patrick Corbin, the newest of the Nationals, the last high-priced horse in a pitcher's rotation that dropped the franchise last season. But instead, the day turned to Bryce Harper, like so many days around the Nationals.
The main owner, Mark Lerner, made his first major public comment on the team's offer to his superstar in an interview with 106.7 The Fan Friday afternoon. And in this document, he stated the following:
"I do not really expect it to come back at this point, I think they decided to move on."
Lerner explained the premise of his conclusion. The $ 300 million 10-year offer the team made to Harper at the end of the season was "the best we can do," said Lerner, adding that the club's officials had much talked to Harper and his agent, Scott Boras.
"We said," If you're interested, come back to us and we'll see if we can finish it, "Lerner said." But we just could not afford to do more and build a capable team. to win NL East or go further than that. "
Many wondered whether the Koreans' agreement with Corbin – six years, $ 140 million – would prevent the Nationals from continuing to sue Harper. On Friday, general manager Mike Rizzo said the two problems "are independent of one another". Lerner, however, said the moves already made by the team "could very well" prevent Harper's signing even though he decides he wants to take their previous offer.
"We will have to sit down and solve the problem," Lerner told Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier. "He's coming back [to the offer]it is a strong possibility that we can not make it work. But I really do not expect him to come back at this point. I think they decided to move on. There is simply too much money left on the table. It's just not the direction of Mr. Boras to leave money on the table. "
Resigned as he appears to be out of Harper, Lerner praised Harper, the first pick of the 2010 project, a star that emerged under the eyes of the Lerner family.
"It was a special six years. And he will always be emblematic of the city when he plays for another team. We will do everything for him and organize a real ceremony, "Lerner said. "You can not blame him, and I do not think he's mad at us if we can not go farther."
Learn more about Nats coverage:
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Bryce Harper arrived as a massive promise. If he leaves the nationals, what will be his legacy?
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