Word Is Bryce Harper is warming up to the WhiteSox. How warm could depend on how much Jerry Reinsdorf is willing to spend.@WBBMNewsradio
— George Ofman (@georgeofman) December 10, 2018
It’s more of the same speculation, and I for one am getting tired of writing these stories. And if I’m tired of the rumor mill, I can only imagine how exhausted Sox fans are. The second half of Ofman’s tweet is key to signing Harper: He will sign with the organization that offers him the most money.
This idea can be hashed out in several ways, whether by average annual value or largest total value. It’s been reported that Harper wants to eclipse Giancarlo Stanton‘s $325-million benchmark set a few seasons ago, but if the money is greater for a few fewer years He might be willing to ditch history for a higher paycheck.
But there is more to this story than just dollars and cents. Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports noted that Harper’s decision will be a family affair and his wife, Kayla has been privy to the pitches from several clubs already. Some of those pitches have lasted longer than 10 hours, and Scott Boras (Harper’s celebrity agent known for his “binders”) compiled a 181-page leviathan of a rebuttal to clubs searching for bargains.
Rick Hahn offered his perspective on how difficult these decisions are for players.
“You have to understand these guys are professionals and they understand deep nuances about each individual franchise,” the White Sox general manager said on a conference call last week. “And from a macro standpoint, the idea of potentially being part of a winner in Chicago has very broad appeal. From a nuanced standpoint, the chance to be part of the White Sox organization based upon what our future looks like, futures that these players are familiar with and understand having either seen personally some of these young players play or video or talked to other players about them, it’s something that they buy into.
“There’s an allure not just to winning in this city. But there’s an allure of being part of building something that’s potentially sustainable and potentially great. Where we were in Year 2 of a rebuild I don’t think really plays a huge role in the decision-making process of what a player is buying into in terms of the long-term future.”
Don’t expect hasty and irrational moves from the White Sox to simply rubber-stamp a deal with Harper or Manny Machado. Hahn explained on Sunday at the Winter Meetings that they won’t “scurry” around looking for deals to make just for the sake of making deals. But the fact that Harper is reportedly “warming up to the White Sox” appears to be a good sign for the South Siders.