Dodgers tried to trade Yasiel Puig for Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper

Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

The deal would have been the second-richest in Major League Baseball history, trailing only Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins signed in 2014, and the third-richest in sports history.

It's worth remembering the Red Sox won a championship that season as well, which can never be discounted as motivating the Yankees to do more.

Bryce Harper has reached free-agency after years of anticipation.

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Bryce Harper is destined to join the Philadelphia Phillies, according to executives polled on the free agent's future by USA Today.

Boras tabbed Harper as a "generational" and "iconic" player - citing the Nationals' stark increase in attendance, television ratings and overall franchise value since Harper joined the team.

"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. Nightengale now says that the Dodgers aren't interested in Harper, and the Cubs, ironically, seemed to put a dent in their chances to be able to afford Harper when they exercised Cole Hamels' $20 million option for 2019 last week. He reportedly rejected a 10-year, $300 million contact the Nationals offered him at the end of the regular season, presumably believing his agent, Scott Boras, will secure him a more lucrative one that includes opt-out years.

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The sides could still strike a deal later in the off-season. Indeed, the Nationals need starting pitching, a catcher and to upgrade their bench. If LA does decide to make a run at Harper, they would likely still look to move Puig this offseason. It will cost them roughly $13 million.

"I'm comfortable with the alternative (to Harper re-signing)", Rizzo added. "There is a reality that we would love to sign him, but we may not".

Whether the Nationals will be without Harper remains to be seen. Boras also has Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg as clients.

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