Washington Nationals: A theoretical week as GM this offseason

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Washington Nationals Bryce Harper

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Day 1 – Re-Sign Harper

The biggest question of the Washington Nationals winter is the future Bryce Harper, and it’s not even close. Therefore it makes sense to address this issue on my first day as General Manager.

Regardless of whether the front office decides whether to sign Harper or not, it’s the decision that simply has to be made first. Now, it’s time to sign the next face of the franchise to the long-term deal that he so richly deserves to stay in D.C. for the foreseeable future, if not his career.

The whole process starts with the wining and dining of Harper and his agent Scott Boras in Las Vegas, and we get a sense of how much it will take to get a deal done. Boras starts off with his opening gambit demanding a flat 15-year deal with a $40 million annual average value. I proceeded to almost choke on my lobster.

It’s understandable that something on that scale would get the deal done, the long-term security at a high annual average. That would be $600 million guaranteed, and if he were to regress at any point, he wouldn’t need to worry about performance again.

Related Story: Key decisions needed in Harper pursuit

But we both know that the contract proposed is far too much to get us to cough up that much. We decline and Boras suspiciously nips to the men’s room. He returns and tries to play things cools before we offer up a 10-year deal with a $30 million AAV, and opt-outs early on in the deal to allow him to get out if he rebounds to the MVP form both sides know is in there.

They decline but say they’re moderately interested. Sadly, I can’t disclose the rest of the details of the negotiations, as what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But in the end, we worked out the deal below, beating out the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies for his signature.

Contract Signed: Bryce Harper signs a 12-year, $420 million deal with opt-outs after the third, fourth and seventh season.

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