As prized free agent outfielder Bryce Harper continues to draw out his free agency, teams across the league are reportedly expecting the star outfielder to return to the Washington Nationals.
According to Andy Martino of SportsNet New York, speculation around the industry from multiple teams is that they continue to believe the 26-year-old outfielder stays in Washington D.C.
Industry speculation — and that's all this is, chatter from other teams — continues to be that Bryce Harper returns to Washington. Still ZERO sign Yanks are on him at all.
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) January 4, 2019
Throughout the offseason, Harper has often been connected to the Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. However, New York’s outfielder is crowded and the Dodgers reportedly don’t want to give Harper a lengthy contract.
A return to D.C. makes a lot of sense for Harper, both in terms of fit, familiarity and financial incentives. Washington reportedly already offered him a 10-year contract and their offer could have increased since then.
After seeing the Nationals sign Patrick Corbin, Harper could view this team as ready to compete for a World Series and the perfect combination of factors could lead to his return. There’s still plenty of time for another team to emerge and sign him, but the Nationals are likely in a better position than when the offseason started.