Bryce Harper is in no rush to make his next move. In fact, he might not move at all.
The free-agent right fielder is considering returning to the Washington Nationals, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Wednesday, citing a source with the team. Harper became this offseason’s hottest commodity when he elected to examine what he might net in free agency. However, his decision doesn’t guarantee his departure from the Nationals, whose representatives he reportedly has met with multiple times recently.
Harper, 26, is hoping to sign a massive contract worth more than $300 million and running 10-plus seasons. Washington offered him a 10-year, $300 million deal last year, but he rejected it in order to determine whether the open market would provide him better contract terms.
The Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox are believed to be the leading contenders for Harper’s services.
But the baseball world might have to wait several more weeks to learn where he’ll end up. A source told Passan he could see Harper extending his free agency into February if he doesn’t receive an offer he deems suitable this month.
Most teams’ pitchers and catchers will report to spring training around Feb. 12, and position players will follow them roughly a week later. Chances are one team will begin preparations for the season with news of a surprise superstar arrival … or in the case of the Nationals, a familiar face.
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