Scott Boras Says Bryce Harper Knows Next Team, Decision ‘Already Completed and Done’

Bryce Harper is the most hyped free agent in recent memory and could very well command a record contract this winter. He’s also represented by Scott Boras, who isn’t known for rushing into deals for his clients. As such, most folks figured Harper’s courtship would drag out for a while once the free agency period opens (which is very soon now that the World Series is over).

But if what Boras told YES Network’s Michael Kay is true, everything has already been decided.

“Bryce Harper is somebody that…in my entire career, he has the greatest skill level and the greatest character level of any superstar I’ve ever been involved with. And I think our game is going to see historic performances from him.

“We know who the team is, it’s already completed and done,” Boras admitted. “But Bryce has told me he wanted to tell you personally, so I’m gonna let him do that”

Well that’s quite the bombshell, huh? Or is it really just Boras putting something out there to get teams scrambling and upping their offers? Maybe it’s even his attempt at humor, which, wow. That probably makes more sense than things really being decided already, but you never know.

If Boras is serious — see editor’s note below for potential ramifications of that — which team is he talking about? Harper has openly flirted with the Cubs for the last two years and they have been viewed by some oddsmakers as the favorites to land him. Even some plugged-in beat writers are saying Harper to the Cubs feels “inevitable.”

At the same time, Boras was appearing on the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network, which could be a big clue. Or that could mean the super-agent is simply baiting the hook with a massive red herring.

All we know for certain is that Harper is in line for a monster contract, the bidding for which is reportedly starting at 10 years and $350 million. Wait, does the fact that Bruce Levine put that figure out there tell us anything? Probably not, as that’s been a fairly standard assumption for a while now. But the Cubs do figure to be one of maybe six teams that could swim in waters that deep, along with the Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, Twins, and Giants.

I am pretty intrigued by the Phillies, who seem very well positioned to bring either Harper or Manny Machado aboard for 2019 and beyond. At the same time, they just don’t feel like a fit for Harper for some reason.

So what do you think, dear reader: Are we going to find out where Harper’s headed on Tuesday morning or is this really going to drag out after all?

Ed. note: The thing about writing while trying to acclimate a new kitten to your home is that you can neglect to include certain items. Such as, a deal already being in place with a team other than the Nationals would constitute tampering. Unless Boras just means Harper’s made up his mind, in which case Boras mentioning it as he did could still lead to a tampering investigation. But it seems like Boras is way too smart for that, which leads us back to humor.

Even then, it still seems really ill-advised. So maybe Harper is just staying put — despite the Nats’ tight financial situation — and all the hype will have been for naught. Or maybe this will add another layer of intrigue once we get to the offseason.

***Update***

According to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, Boras had indeed been fishing for herring with his trolling motor.

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Evan Altman

Evan Altman is the EIC and co-founder of Cubs Insider and has proclaimed himself Central Indiana's foremost Cubs authority. He is a husband, father, homebrewer, and award-winning blogger with entirely too much pop culture knowledge. Evan's greatest accomplishments include scoring 400 points in Magic Johnson's Fast Break, naming all 10 members of the Wu-Tang Clan in under 3.5 seconds, and winning the Meese Literary Award at Hanover College.

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29 Comments

  1. Wherever Harper goes, I hope it gets done right away. But players don’t officially become free agents from their current teams until 9 a.m. ET after the final World Series game, and they can’t sign until five days after the end of the World Series. So if any teams other than the Nationals are talking with Harper and his agent, I assume they are technically guilty of tampering? But if no teams are violating the Nationals’ exclusive negotiating period, then the “done-deal” team would need to be the Nationals. But that’s a big if.

    1. That’s the weird thing. Unless Harper simply knows where he wants to end up and is good with whatever after the fact. But as I noted in the addendum, even Boras joking about stuff would mean MLB would have to look into tampering. Very strange.

      1. It’s seems the context/wording was more like Bryce knows we’re he wants to be, decided and the particulars will be worked out. Not so much an actual contract is ready.

        1. Could certainly be interpreted that way, though saying “completed” is something that infers negotiations or a contract offer. It could also mean a decision process, though even that is a little dubious in the absence of an offer.

  2. The Yankees don’t really need an OF and I see them focusing on Corbin and Machado and possibly a catcher.

    The Phillies obligations to players is something like $87M so they could go hog wild.

    My guess is – if he truly already knows – is it’s staying in WAS or signing with the Cubs.

    Great post btw

    1. Thanks, it’s a weird deal and I just happened to see the tweet with Boras saying that stuff. It’s all so much to parse. Or maybe not.

    2. I don’t see the Phillies as a “fit” either, but they have the moolah ($) – and can at least do a sales job on “we are close to a W.S. – and with you we make it there”. He doesn’t fit the Yanks roster needs as you point out.

      In a funny way, I won’t be disappointed at all if he stays with the Nats. Not because I don’t want him in Cubs pinstripes, I just like it when players stay with teams that brought them into the league.

      1. I don’t think he’s going back to Washington. I believe, like everyone else, he will come to Chicago if the Cubs front office wants him.

        1. I think so as well. As I’ve espoused before, I think the primary risk for the Cubs would be if they tried to work in a “we’re the best place to play” discount – and some other team just gets stupid.

  3. Just hope to God, it’s not my Cubs. We can afford it, sure, but why?? I have no reason to believe that Harper won’t b another Heyward or Darvish or Chatwood. Too much risk involved for a skiddish personality @ 35M.

    1. I disagree, Heyward was neevr close to the hitter Harper has been, chatwood was a risk, marrow was an injury risk and darvish is good just had a bad injury year he’s gunna bounce back with rest for 15 wins watch. Not our money. Cubs print money. And they raise their ticket prices every year regardless, so why not go get Harper

      1. Uh, u. R. An. Idiot. U SHOULD b concerned if u r a fan, cuz there is something called a luxury tax and it doesn’t matter how much Cubs the money PRINT, as u put it.

        And NO ONE is worth 35M that is currently living. According to you, all the players u mentioned were bums, but Harper is THE one?! PLEASE!

        How did that go in Washington the last few years?? Mmmmmmm

        1. First, let’s avoid disparaging other folks here. As for the luxury tax, the Cubs will already be over it even if they don’t sign Harper to a big contract. And the CBA that defines the current luxury tax regulations will expire in 2021. Given the Cubs’ window and the amount of revenue they’re already seeing before locking up a massive broadcast deal, the additional money they’ll pay in CBT overages should not be a mitigating factor.

          1. The CBA contract expires. There’s no guarantee there will be a luxury tax in the next CBA. It has to be negotiated. So it could exist as is, they could raise the ceiling, or eliminate it altogether. If the players don’t get what they want they could strike. If the owners are forced to give in, they could lock the players out. The point is, when the CBA expires — in 2021– the luxury tax expires with it. It’s an agreement, a negotiated one — not a rule.

            But we are all idiots.

          2. Again, I’ll ask you to stop calling the kettle black. Mike lays out below why it’s silly to cite the luxury tax as some kind of blanket hindrance.

    1. It has to be the Nats if Boras is being serious. But they’ve got a ton of holes to fill and may not be willing or able to sign him and address the rest of the roster. There’s also a sense that he’s wanted to leave, though perhaps that just the wishful thinking of Cubs fans.

      1. Not to mention that isn’t the Nationals the only team that Harper can have structured conversations with prior to Nov 1? Nothing is “done” at this level until all of the out clauses, incentive packages, etc. are all negotiated.

        1. He didn’t say a contract has Vern negotiated, only that Bryce knows where he wants to play. Still it’s a troll job.

          1. I was running with verbiage of “completed and done” implying that the legal ease had been worked out. (even though knowing that it can’t/wouldn’t be)

  4. Well, if Boras is telling the truth (ha! as if) it legally has to be the Nationals. Nobody else is allowed to negotiate with Harper until five days after the World Series ends. Heck, Harper hasn’t even officially be given a Qualifying Offer yet (which would be a pay cut for him, so zero downside to offering that). So unless Harper’s new team will earn an immediate tampering charge, a “deal done now” can only be the Nationals.

  5. I’d be fine with the Cubs signing Harper. I think he’d be fine and he’d lift the middle part of the order. Please, please, please keep Machado away though. Any team he plays on will instantly be infested with terminal cancer.

  6. Odds are that this is just Boras being Boras. Either it’s completely false, and he’s just revving things up prior to 11/1 – or it’s technically false (meaning that Harper has mentally picked a team, but nothing is done) – and Boras still just wants to rev things up.

  7. I am probably in the vast minority here, but I don’t want Harper or Machado to sign with the Cubs. I’d rather see the money spent on one more SP, like Hamels, a younger, Murphy-esque hitter that’s also a good defender, and ok, one more of those, then maybe a solid reliever like Chavez.

    Spread the wealth, rather than using it all up on one marquee name.

    1. I’m with you. It would be different if Harper were consistently putting up Trout numbers, but he has been inconsistent. I know the Cubs have a lot of money and more coming in with the looming TV contract, but I still don’t believe they could sign Harper to a $400 million deal to go with the Heyward and Darvish deals having such a long way to go and maintain the necessary financial flexibility going forward.

      All that said, it’s difficult for me to see a realistic path this offseason that would elevate the Cubs to the level of the Red Sox, Astros and Dodgers.

      1. Yeah, there’s that whole nearly inexplicable Luxury Tax thing too. I think the Harper rumors and rainbows-and-unicorns wishes to get him are just over the top. He’s actually not worth that kind of money to the Cubs. We need our own “all stars” to produce at a higher level. That would help a lot.

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