Bryce Harper says he was ‘hurt’ by Nationals’ contract offer

Bryce Harper
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Before outfielder Bryce Harper signed a record 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies, the six-time All-Star was trying to remain with the Washington Nationals. At the end of the 2018 regular season, the club made him a $300 million offer. However, $100 million of that would have been deferred, lowering the present-day value. The present-day equivalent was $244 million. Harper moved on and ultimately latched on with the Phillies.

A recent guest on Barstool Sports’ Starting 9 podcast, Harper said he was “hurt” by the Nats’ offer . Harper said about a meeting he had with Nationals managing owner Mark Lerner, “I thought we had a really good meeting. I walked out of there and said, ‘Scott [Boras], get it done.’ I got back an offer and it hurt. So we kind of just turned the page on to the new year.”

The Nationals moved on without Harper. During Harper’s tenure in D.C., the club had many close calls in the postseason, losing the 2012 NLDS in five games, the 2014 NLDS in four games, and both the 2016 and ’17 NLDS in five games. The Nationals finally got over the hump last year, defeating the Brewers in the NL Wild Card game, edging the Dodgers in the NLDS in five games, sweeping the Cardinals out of the NLCS, then overtaking the Astros in Game 7 of the World Series to win the first championship in franchise history.

Harper, meanwhile, had a productive first season with the Phillies but it was ultimately a disappointment given the sky-high expectations for himself and for the team. The Phillies finished 81-81 while Harper hit .260/.372/.510 with 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 682 plate appearances. The 2020 season, if and when it begins, will mark year two of the 13-year deal.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.