Agents and executives reportedly believe Phillies will land Bryce Harper

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

But if they do, it nearly certainly won't be that deal, and Washington's general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo acknowledged on Tuesday that his team can not afford to wait around for the right-fielder to make his decision.

Harper will enter the open market as one of the most sought-after free agents in recent memory. But no position player has ever earned an average annual value of more than $US27.5 million (Alex Rodriguez and Yoenis Cespedes). Though it feels unlikely that he'll have a better season than his 2015 National League MVP season - a season in which he hit.330 with 42 home runs and a staggering 9.3 fWAR - many of his best career years should still be in front of him.

According to USA Today, which cited persons with direct knowledge of the proposed deal, the offer would have paid Harper an average of $30 million per year but expired after the Nats lost exclusive negotiating rights last week. The contract did not match the $325 million that the Miami Marlins gave Giancarlo Stanton in 2014, however, which is likely why Harper turned it down. A source close to Harper's situation said: "he's not going to be a Yankee".

Zack Greinke ($US34 million), David Price ($US31 million) and Clayton Kershaw ($US31 million) all got more.

The good news for the Phillies is that they might be bidding against only a few teams, and perhaps none as attractive as the Phillies.

The Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are among the teams that have been rumored as potential landing spots for Harper. In meetings with team owners, Boras said he has made it a point to note in documents shared that "I know that anyone who's done what Bryce Harper has". Harper will soon finally be available to sign with other teams after years of speculation about the Washington Nationals star's future. How high will they go? A bidding war could get Harper to his $400 million very quickly.

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