Fake Nationals miss out on Bryce Harper
As soon as the free agency opened in our FanSided Mock Offseason, the first move fake general manager Blake Finney made was to enter the Bryce Harper sweepstakes. Unfortunately, the fake Washington Nationals couldn’t come out with their homegrown superstar.
Before we go into the details of the offers that were put onto the table, first it’s important to go over the rule of free agent contracts. In this simulation, for free agent bidding, contract offers had to be in the simplest form, which means no opt-outs, no team, player or mutual options, no deferred money, or uneven yearly salary.
The Bidding War
Finney and the fake Nats quickly countered an early St. Louis Cardinals offer with a 12-year, $400 million contract offer for Harper. This came in just under the $35 million annual average we had initially set out as a budget.
That offer held for a while with Harper’s “agent” considering the bid before the pesky Phillies came back in and trumped it with a 12-year $425 million offer. That offer meant we had to go over our initial budget for AAV to bring back Harper.
Given it was the division rival Phillies leading the bidding, after some deliberation, we went up to 12-years and $440 million. The annual average $36.67 million was manageable, but with other teams still lurking, things didn’t look good.
That turned out to be the case, as the Chicago White Sox came in a with a hefty 12-year, $462 million offer for Harper. It was getting late in the bidding process, and we considered topping it for a time, before sensibly declining.
But that wasn’t the end of the drama, the Phillies beat the buzzer at the end to ink Harper for 12 years and an astounding $485 million. In a world without out-opts and player options, that contract is quite the price to pay, even for Bryce Harper.
It’s going to be painful to watch fake Harper play against the Nats for 12 seasons, but when you consider he’ll be draining them of over $40 million per season, the pain goes away. The Phillies wanted to be desperate, so we let them.
In our Fake Offseason blueprint, we did have Harper in those plans, with Adam Eaton in trade discussions early on in case we won the big sweepstakes. We had Adam Eaton and prospects set to head to the Seattle Mariners for James Paxton and Mike Leake, but the Phillies nixed those plans.
So now, with Harper going to fake Philly, the Eaton trade talks stopped, and we immediately focused our attention on the next best thing for the team. Anthony Rendon.