Agents and executives reportedly believe Phillies will land Bryce Harper

Trading for J.T. Realmuto would be a real catch for Phillies | Extra Innings

They can not wait for Harper to make his decision - which many in the industry believe will come no sooner than the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas next month - and miss out on the market. For years, it appeared as though Clayton Kershaw would be part of it, though he agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"We've had conversations and we utilized our exclusivity to negotiate with him late in the season through when he became eligible to sign with a team, " Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told reporter Tuesday, according to ESPN. The Phillies are expected to be one of the most active teams in free-agency. Nightengale says that Harper is seeking a 13-year deal that tops the average annual value of $34.42 million that Zack Greinke now has in his deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. With just over a month until the MLB Winter Meetings, it doesn't appear that a decision from Harper (or any major free-agent) is imminent.

Importantly for any future negotiations, Harper's deal would not be the largest in baseball history by average annual value. It will cost them roughly $US13 million.

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However, it is becoming more and more clear that the Yankees intend to pass on Harper. "He has done a lot in the game already, and he is just scratching the surface".

Harper did not accept the initial offer and the two parties could not reach a deal while the former MVP was still under contract with the Nationals, which meant Washington held exclusive negotiating rights with Harper until he hit the open market.

In seven seasons with the Nationals, Harper has a.279 career batting average, along with 184 home runs, 521 RBI, six All-Star selections and a National League Most Valuable Player award. Giglio says he would call it a "failure" if John Middleton is unable to land Harper.

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