Bryce Harper Won't Be Signing With Yankees

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The Dodgers offered Puig in a trade, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, but the two sides could not strike a deal.

The debate over where the stars would land has raged for months, and according to a new column from USA Today Sports MLB insider Bob Nightengale, the Phillies are the leaders in the clubhouse for Harper. The system is now perversely set up to encourage teams to go to one extreme or the other in terms of competitiveness, which hurts the overall product as well as specific things like the free agent market.

The Yankees are already paying some incredibly large contracts, including that of Giancarlo Stanton, who was acquired from the Miami Marlins last winter.

But if they do, it nearly certainly won't be that deal, and Washington's general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo acknowledged on Tuesday that his team can not afford to wait around for the right-fielder to make his decision.

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While Harper could be exploring other options, it's still possible he might return to the Nationals.

The Yankees are certainly known for making big splashes in the free agent market, so they've always been tentatively mentioned as a possible destination for Harper if he does decide to leave Washington DC. Indeed, the Nationals need starting pitching, a catcher and to upgrade their bench.

If the Phillies have indeed signed Harper, it would give them one of the best players baseball has seen in this generation. Given Harper's history with the Nationals, he seems unlikely to make a deal elsewhere without first circling back.

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. The Nationals made him a qualifying offer last Friday. The Nationals were willing to make a strong commitment.

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