There's a 'growing chance' Harper takes a discount to stay with the Nats

Photo credit Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
On the day of what might be Bryce Harper's final home game as a Washington National, Chelsea Janes told the Junkies there's a "growing chance" he could take a hometown discount to stay in D.C. 

"I don't think he's chasing only the money," Janes said Wednesday. "I think this year might have changed that, so I would say there's a chance he structures his deal in a favorable way for the Nationals."

"I don't think the deal will be remarkably lower, I don't see him doing that. But I think there's a growing chance that he would make things easier on them, if Scott Boras lets him."

The Nats outfield would be very crowded if Harper stayed. Victor Robles is expected to join the major league roster full-time next season along with Juan Soto, Adam Eaton and Michael A. Taylor. 

Janes thinks Washington could fit all those names and Harper in the lineup if one of them, likely Soto or even Harper, moved to first base. 

"I think there's a realistic chance that you consider moving Soto to first, or I guess Bryce, too," she said. "I've heard them say that they'd be willing to think about Soto there, just because the numbers play, right? You never want to move someone to a position where their offensive numbers don't still make them a plus player."

"It's something you could consider, and I know they've at least not ruled it out with Soto. So yeah, I wouldn't rule out anything. I don't think signing Bryce locks them in in the outfield in any way."

However, if Janes was Mike Rizzo, she wouldn't necessarily bring Harper back.

"I personally think that I take Adam Eaton, Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Michael Taylor and say, 'Some combination of you is playing the outfield next year,'" Janes told the Junkies. "That gives you a $13 million outfield, and then I try to go sign Rendon and Turner long-term, and that's where I put the Bryce money."

"That also gives you a lot of money to go get a couple free agent starters, and whatever else you need ... For me, I think the most cost effective and 'prop the window open' option is to just go with the young outfield. Sign Turner, sign Rendon and say, 'This is our core moving forward.'"

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