WASHINGTON – If there were doubts about whether All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper would return to the Washington Nationals, team owner Mark Lerner on Friday didn’t give fans any reason to be optimistic.
“I really don’t expect him to come back at this point,” Lerner said on 106.7 The Fan, making his first substantial comments on the matter. “I think they’ve (Harper and agent Scott Boras) decided to move on. There’s just too much money out there that he’d be leaving on the table. That’s just not Mr. Boras’ M.O. to leave money on the table.”
In September, Harper reportedly rejected a 10-year contract from the Nationals worth around $300 million.
“When we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, ‘This is the best we can do.’ We went right to the finish line very quickly,” Lerner added. “And we said, ‘If this is of interest to you, please come back to us and we’ll see whether we can finish it up.’ But we just couldn’t afford to put more than that in and still be able to put a team together that had a chance to win the (National League) East or go farther than that.”