Phillies rumors: Opt out holding up Bryce Harper negotiations
Phillies rumors suggest the opt-out is keeping things from moving with Bryce Harper.
The Bryce Harper saga continues to draw on and Phillies rumors surrounding the superstar outfielder keep flowing out.
Former Mets general manager and current SiriusXM MLB Network host Steve Phillips, who has broken several stories in the last year, tweeted Wednesday evening that the opt-out clause is holding up the Phillies from signing Harper.
According to Phillips, the Phillies don’t want Harper to have the ability to opt-out of his contract until the fifth year of a presumptive 10-year deal. Phillips says Harper and agent Scott Boras are looking at a potential opt-out after the third year of a new deal.
WIP’s Angelo Cataldi also reported the year-three opt-out is an issue in negotiations.
In addition to that Phillies rumor, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies are still believed to have the most money on the table for Harper, but that the Giants remain aggressive.
Olney adds that the Dodgers, who recently reentered the sweepstakes, are likely interested in a short-term deal.
As I said earlier this week, it’s hard to pick between fact and fiction with Boras likely floating things out to the media. Olney and Phillips have been around the game long enough that people should trust their instinct on whether or not to report something they’ve heard.
Jon Heyman added that the Giants are likely in on a decade-long deal and that the Dodgers are thinking short-term, corroborating what Olney said, and noting that Harper only wants a long-term deal.
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As we reported earlier this week, Jayson Stark mentioned on 97.5 The Fanatic that he believes a deal could be done very soon, but we’ve heard that for weeks, if not months now.
It’s still a waiting game, and it’s understandable why the Phillies would want to push an opt-out back in a deal with Harper. They want to lock him in for as long as they can and keep their championship window open for two additional years with a guarantee that Harper is under contract.
If Boras is at three years and the Phillies are at five, the ‘Pawn Stars” negotiation tactics would lead you to believe they could settle on year four as the opt-out year.
It doesn’t help that Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arrenado just signed a long-term deal with an opt-out after the third year. Boras will waive that in Matt Klentak’s face throughout the negotiations.
Hopefully this thing wraps up sooner rather than later, but again, we’ve been saying this for months. Just don’t sour on Harper because his agent is pushing for every dime he can get.