Nationals Owner Mark Lerner Thinks Bryce Harper Has 'Decided to Move On'

Inside Patrick Corbin's courting and the world of the newest...

Nationals Owner: "I Don't Really Expect [Harper] To Come Back At This Point"

"When we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, 'This is the best we can do, '" Lerner told Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier. "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 NL East or go farther than that". In light of the team's new commitments, he said, it "may very well be" that the $300MM offer to Harper is now off the table even in the event that he and Boras have a change of heart and wish to accept those terms.

Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals in the dugout before the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 26, 2018 in Miami, Florida. "I really don't expect him to come back at this point", he stated. The meal with Mark Lerner and general manager Mike Rizzo felt more personable, less plastic than the other two.

No timeline has been given on when Harper is expected to sign with a team. "I think they've made a decision to move on. That's just not Mr. Boras' MO to leave money on the table". Plus, Lerner did not express any disappointment at the idea of Harper going elsewhere for a bigger payday. "It's the opportunity of a lifetime for Bryce and Kayla and their family", he said, "adding that "we have no hard feelings about it." ".

As it stands, the Nationals will enter 2019 with an outfield of Adam Eaton, Juan Soto, Michael A. Taylor and Victor Robles.

"We feel very strongly we're in good shape", Lerner said. "It'll be a young, pretty incredible outfield defensively, and certainly with the bat it's going to be special".

"I do think they want to make a splash", said an American League Central source who viewed the cash savings from non-tendering outfielder Avisail Garcia as a sign of the Sox' intentions. He had that season.

The Nationals announced their six-year contract with Corbin, a heavily back-loaded deal worth $140 million, and the All-Star lefty starter donned a No. 46 jersey as rotation-mates Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg looked on from the front row Friday. "And he'll still be iconic in the city".

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