Without casting doubt on any of these reports, it's important to remember how quickly things can change in free-agency, especially as we approach the Winter Meetings, which will begin on December 9 in Harper's hometown of Las Vegas.
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.
"It behooves us to have an expiration date", Rizzo told reporters, an indication the Nationals are prepared to move on in their plans without Harper because, as one person familiar with the situation said, they "can't have $300 million dangling out there for months". Given Harper's history with Washington, it is likely Boras will at least circle back with the Nationals before finalizing a free agent deal for Harper with another team.
Mike Rizzo discussed the team's talks with agent Scott Boras at the general managers' meetings on Tuesday.
Major League Baseball free-agency began on Saturday and the winter meetings will be held from December 9-13 in Las Vegas. "But I'm not comfortable with the statement that we're a better team without him".
In the meantime, Harper will continue to field offers from other teams in hopes of landing a record-setting deal.
Average annual value would have been $30 million, USA Today Sports's Bob Nightengale reports.
The Nationals were willing to make a strong commitment.