Report: Harper returning to Nationals remains possibility

The Washington Post / Getty

When Bryce Harper's free agency bonanza comes to an end, the superstar outfielder could wind up back in Washington.

Harper has met multiple times with representatives of the Washington Nationals, a club source told ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Passan adds the possibility of a reunion persists despite comments made in December by Nationals owner Mark Lerner, who has insisted Washington won't go beyond the $300 million Harper reportedly rejected in November.

Harper and Boras met with Lerner for five hours on the Saturday before Christmas, a person with direct knowledge of Harper's process told Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post.

In September, Harper explained his desire to stay in Washington but also mentioned his uncertainty about the organization's future plans.

"I've always said: If I'm in those plans, I'd absolutely love to be here," Harper told Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post. "But if I'm not, there's nothing I can do about it. There's nothing I can do. I would love to play next to (Victor) Robles or (Juan) Soto or (Adam) Eaton. I'd love to. But am I in those plans? I have no idea."

The 2015 National League MVP has a robust market beyond the Nationals. He's been linked to the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox, teams known to be willing to guarantee Harper a decade-long contract, according to Passan.

The Chicago Cubs are also reportedly trying to clear payroll for Harper, while the Los Angeles Dodgers have interest but appear unwilling to give him a long-term deal.

Harper is willing to wait for a contract he deems suitable and his free agency could stretch into February, a source told Passan.

The 26-year-old is expected to garner one of the most lucrative contracts in sports history after a tremendous seven years with Washington, during which he hit .279/.388/.512 with 184 home runs and 521 RBIs.

Report: Harper returning to Nationals remains possibility
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