This, we recently learned, is exactly what Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, 25, did when his team, the Washington Nationals, made him such an offer at the end of the 2018 season.
Harper has frequently stated that he loves playing in Washington, and would like to continue his career there. He is also regarded as the most valuable baseball free agent since Alex Rodriguez entered free agency almost 20 years ago and received a record contract. (You know what happened to him, right?) His agent, Scott Boras, has said in the past that a realistic target for Harper on the open market is $400,000,000, and most experts thinks Boras is nuts.
I see only three possible explanations for Harper turning down the Nationals offer: 1) He’s an idiot, 2) he is getting irresponsible and conflicted advice from his agent, or 3) he was lying when he said he wanted to play in D.C.
If your answer is “4) He’s greedy,” I submit that this is indistinguishable from #1. I defy anyone to explain how their life is enhanced in any way by making 40 million a year rather than 30 million. Harper has no children, but since “I’m doing this for my kids” is the default rationalization used by players when they accept the highest bid, I also defy anyone to explain how his theoretical children would have significantly better or different lives if Daddy makes an extra 100 million over the next 10 years—especially since another mega-million dollar contract will probably come into play after that. Continue reading