Rizzo: Bryce Harper negotiations are 'complicated'

Photo credit Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Rizzo acknowledged the Nationals are engaged in ongoing contract negotiations with free agent-to-be Bryce Harper.

During his weekly appearance with The Sports Junkies, Rizzo was asked to respond to a Barry Svrluga column, in which Svrluga makes the case for the Nats re-signing Harper before he gets to free agency.

"Is there a chance maybe that something could be hammered out before the end of the season," he was asked.

"It's a complicated negotiation. Suffice it to say, I think Bryce likes it here," Rizzo said, sponsored by Burke & Herbert. "We would love to have Bryce. If it's something that makes sense for both Bryce and for the Nationals, we would love to have Bryce Harper here in the long term."

"He's a guy that we scouted for a long time, we drafted, signed, developed and watched grow into a star, so certainly we're going to have discussions with him," he said. "Obviously we're not going to just talk about them outside of the small group that's involved in it, but we'd love to have him here long term and I think he really likes it here.

"So there's nothing to report on that end other than that we have great respect and admiration for each other and we'd love to have him long term."

Asked if the negotiation process has already begun, Rizzo said, "We've had discussions with Bryce and his people for a long time. We know that he enjoys it here. He wants to be here. We'd love to have him here. We're not going to comment on where we're at and what we've been talking about, but we'd love to have him here and I think he likes to be here."

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