For the Nationals, expectations are low when it comes to free agent Bryce Harper donning a curly white 'W' on his cap next season. So low, in fact, that Nationals owner Mark Lerner doesn't "expect [Harper] to come back at this point," he said Friday on 106.7 The Fan FM in Washington.
Back in late September, Lerner reportedly offered Harper $300 million over a 10-year span in an aggressive effort for the 26-year-old to remain Washington. Now, Lerner can imagine Harper's top MLB agent, Scott Boras, pulling strings for a larger deal with a different team.
"Well, when we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, 'This is the best we can do.' . . . If he chooses to go some place else, I totally understand it, but we put one heck of an offer out there . . . If he comes back [to negotiate with Washington], it's a strong possibility that we won't be able to make it work. But I really don't expect him to come back at this point. I think they've decided to move on."
This is as much of a hint as any for the Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman, who passed on left-hander Patrick Corbin, to go after the six-time All-Star outfielder just ahead of the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas on Monday.