Free agent MLB superstar Bryce Harper turned down an offer from his current team, the Washington Nationals, that would have made him one of the highest-paid players in U.S. sports history, according to multiple reports.
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Harper, 26, reportedly rejected a 10-year, $300 million offer from Nationals in late September. The deal would have been the second-richest in MLB history, trailing only Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins signed in 2014, and the third-richest in sports history.
"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. "We didn't get anything done, but he's a guy that is near and dear to us and we are not closing any doors.''
Harper will enter the open market as one of the most sought-after free agents in recent memory. A six-time MLB All-Star, the outfielder hit .249 with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs during the 2018 season.
While Harper rejected the Nationals’ initial offer, he can still choose to re-sign with the team. Aside from Washington, the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and several other teams are expected to pursue his services.
The richest sports contract in history belongs to boxer Canelo Alvarez, who signed a five-year, 11-fight deal with streaming platform DAZN worth a minimum of $365 million in October.