Last season, MLB free agents sat idle at home for most of the winter, as teams refused to tie themselves down to multi-year mega deals. This forced many players to take what they believed to be a serious discount for their playing services and spurned the conversation of possible collusion between teams.
And as of right now, i
Incumbent Nats shouldn’t be counted out of Harper derby. Of course they shouldn’t. Club owner Ted Lerner fairly recently met with Harper (sometime after the winter meetings). It is thought to have been a good meeting, too, fwiw. @chelsea_janes 1st mentioned meeting— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 2, 2019
The question becomes, how is what was once thought of as a low-ball offer by the entire baseball universe now one of Harper's best options? One answer is collusion. If this is the case, it would mean that the teams interested in Harper are all trying to wait as long as possible in an effort to make Harper desperate enough to sign for less than what he initially wanted, potentially leading him back to the Nats for an all-new market value at the owner's behest.
Many long-term contracts
Recently, it's been rumored that Harper flew out to Philadelphia to meet with the Phillies. The outcome of this meeting will be interesting, in order to find out what kind of offers Harper is receiving currently.
If teams continue to put out small offers for Harper's services, the collusion case against the MLB will only grow stronger.