Harper declined the Nationals' one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer and became a free agent Monday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports. Nobody expected Harper to accept this offer, as the 26-year-old superstar is looking to sign what is likely to be the largest free-agent contract of the offseason. While he got off to a slow start in 2018, Harper still finished the season with an .889 OPS, 34 homers and 100 RBI while leading the majors with 130 walks.
The Nationals extended a $17.9 million qualifying offer to Harper on Friday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. As expected, Harper was issued the one-year qualifying offer prior to Friday's deadline. Look for Harper to quickly decline this offer while searching for a massive payday in free agency this winter.
Harper is expected to receive a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the Nationals before Friday's deadline, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Harper is also expected to reject the offer as he pursues what is likely to be the largest free-agent contract of the offseason. The 26-year-old officially has 10 days to render a decision on the one-year contract offer. Harper's 2018 season got off to a slow start, but he still finished with an .889 OPS, 34 home runs and 100 RBI, and led the majors with 130 walks.
Harper went 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI in Monday's win over the Marlins. That gives the 25-year-old 100 RBI on the season, the first time he's reached that mark in his career in what seems like his last season as a Nat. Harper's .245 batting average on the year is disappointing, but he's already set a new career high with 126 walks, and he's one run shy of 100 for the season to go along with 34 homers and 12 steals.
Harper walked in all five of his plate appearances Tuesday against the Marlins. He failed to contribute any other counting stats. He leads the majors in walks with 123. Even with that in mind, it's impressive that this wasn't the first time this season that Harper has walked five times -- his career high is six in a game, back on May 6, 2016 against the Cubs.