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Bryce Harper sending the Nationals a message?

First overall draft choice Bryce Harper may be using social media as a negotiating ploy with the Nationals, posting two messages on what appears to be his Facebook page raising the possibility of returning to the College of Southern Nevada next season.

Harper, a 17-year-old outfielder and power-hitting phenom, posted this message earlier this week:

Probably going back to CSN to try to win a National Championship!!! :)

Later, he followed with this:

Wish I was playing USA more than anything!!! Summer has been crazy, and thinking about returning to CSN for another year!!! Very possible!

If Harper does not sign with the Nationals by Aug. 16 deadline, Harper could play for CSN next year and re-enter the draft in 2011. Those close to Harper at the time of the draft, on June 7, said he wanted to play as soon as he could.

"I expect him to sign," Tim Chambers, Harper's college coach, said back in June. "I'm not a mind-reader. I have talked to his family about it. They said, 'We don't want to hold out. We want to sign and get this over with.'"

Harper's agent, Scott Boras, has a history of creating leverage for negotiations in unique ways. Last year, before the Nationals and Stephen Strasburg, another Boras client, came to record-smashing deal, Boras floated the notion of Strasburg playing for a season in Japan and entering the the majors as a free agent.

Messages left for Boras trying to confirm Harper's Facebook page were not returned.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 30, 2010; 10:54 AM ET
Categories:  Bryce Harper  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Matt Capps-Wilson Ramos trade from all angles
Next: Nationals nearing an Adam Dunn trade? [updated]


okay, i have to call BS. i actually looked at it and there is a running conversation between him and manny machado where machado says he's gonna join him at CSN next year. boras runs a tighter ship than that.

Posted by: longterm | July 30, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Hilarious. Now that Steinbrenner is gone, Boras is by far the best "guy we love to hate" in baseball.

Enjoy your summer, Bryce. See you in Viera.

Posted by: Bethesdangit1 | July 30, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Harper will probably sign, but yes, the Nats do have to demonstrate that they are a quality organization. Signing Dunn will help convince him and others.

As to sjt,s point from last thread, the Nats do pay some players what they are worth. I agree with you. There is a market out there, so they have to do that to get the players they have. And as the standings show, you do get what you pay for.

My concern is that the Nats have such small budgets, that they do not collect enough competitive assets. The assets can be turned either into wins or prospects--take your choice. But adding them is better than not adding the assets, which gives you neither wins or prospects in future trades.

The Nats do not add enough assets to be MLB successes. By having such small budgets, the Nats hurt themselves both in the present and in the future. So yes, the Nats do pay people what they are worth. However, they don't do it enough to make much of a difference.

Posted by: EdDC | July 30, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

How can he still play college sports if he has an agent?

Posted by: mercedeskk | July 30, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Bryce is a punk and totally out of his league trying a stunt like this on his own.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 30, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately for Bryce, wanting to play right away and hiring Scott Boras as your agent are two things that do NOT go together. Boras was even quoted in a Las Vegas paper last weekend as saying he won't even BEGIN negotiating the contract until three or four days before the deadline, which pretty much writes off Harper getting any game action this season, save if they decide to send him to instructional league in the fall.
I assume Boras does this holding out business to cram the negotiating into a smaller window, leaving less time for the club he's trying to extort money from to shoot holes in his reasoning. I also assume that Harper could call Boras every day from the day he was drafted and tell him "Get me signed today", and Boras would refuse. I'd feel bad for the kid if he wasn't about to make a ton of cash.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | July 30, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Straight out of the Boras playbook. Have fun at CSN, Bryce. (snort)

Posted by: Watson1 | July 30, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Post from July 14: "If you aint cheatin, you aint tryin!! :)"

Nice attitude, "Bryce."

Is anyone REALLY taking this seriously (aside from "Bryce's" 538 "friends")?

Posted by: MikeH0714 | July 30, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

By all means Bryce, go back to "college" and play another year. Risk injury and your number one status. But look at the bright side- if you have another monster year you'll enjoy the pleasure of being drafted by the O's next year.

Boras, Angelos and Bryce Harper in bed together next season. Priceless.

Posted by: bryc3 | July 30, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah. Wake me up on August 16th

Posted by: slopitchtom | July 30, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Things on the Harper front have been abnormally quiet these days. So, this is a welcome sign that the Boras BS is about to begin. Things are getting back normal, so thats a good thing!

Posted by: jmurray019 | July 30, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Yow. It's hard to believe a couple of years in the minors will be enough to get this kid's head screwed on straight. This is why we need to keep vets like Dunn and Willingham around; so there'll be someone to smack him upside his head when he needs it.

Posted by: joebleux | July 30, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

How can he still play college sports if he has an agent?

Posted by: mercedeskk | July 30, 2010 11:14 AM

Because he does not play for an NCAA affiliated school.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 30, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Scott Boras is bad for baseball. At least Steinbrenner were paying guys that have already been proven. This kid maybe the next coming, but Boras puts his clients in a horrible spot in the sport.

Posted by: johnlanc | July 30, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

This shows that this kid is a punk, Strausburg is a class act he didn't do any of this crap. Let him go back into the draft and have Strausburg throw at his head if he gets re-drafter and ever makes the league.

Posted by: pjohn1 | July 30, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

He is starting to sound like Bryce "Haynseworth" Harper

Posted by: Ivantuski | July 30, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: bryc3 | July 30, 2010 11:34 AM

By all means Bryce, go back to "college" and play another year. Risk injury and your number one status. But look at the bright side- if you have another monster year you'll enjoy the pleasure of being drafted by the O's next year.

Boras, Angelos and Bryce Harper in bed together next season. Priceless.

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | July 30, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Dunn should smack him upside the head just for posting that profile picture.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | July 30, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

HARPER has all the leverage here.... he is just a kid, and not some 3 year college guy like Crow. At CSN, he can play another year in a familiar setting, and go right back into the draft in 2011...The Lerners have to either stop drafting Boras people or better yet.....Spend the sheckles and get it done!!!!....And whether SS or Harper, Baseball #1 pick is "chump change " compared to NFL..

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | July 30, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

If it is him, he's apparently posting that at about 3 in the morning. That whole thread looked sloshed to me (I'm assuming the "Harp" he references earlier is Guinness, not celestial strings).

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Uhmmm I think this is what you get when you draft a 17 year old. Eury Perez is just now getting his feet under him at age 19. All this means is that expect Harper not to be anywhere close to the majors before age 20. That's 3 - 4 years in the Nats minor league system.

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Harper is going to play more JuCo ball next year... just like Jesus is throwing for the Yakult Swallows this season.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 30, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

AGAIN...all you LOSERS trashing Harper..just like you TRASHED SS this time last year....and then when if/when he signs, you're all sitting in a circle, jxxxxxx oxx as if none of this crapola was ever said..

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | July 30, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine this means anything. Read more into Boras' tactics in this solid (albeit old) article from Joe Posnanski.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | July 30, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Are we sure this really is his facebook page?

Posted by: swanni | July 30, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh: As July turns to August, the sabre-rattling begins from the Devil incarnate & his minions. Somebody wake me up when the first offer / counter-offer hits the table.

Posted by: BinM | July 30, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"Are we sure this really is his facebook page"

I was skeptical initially, but the page has been up and pretty active since at least January; I would think if it was fake it would have been shut down by now.

Not to say that someone couldn't have hacked his page to add the recent comments...or a friend who happens to know his password and just wanted to mess with him.

Posted by: joebleux | July 30, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano and the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, it's time again for that annual tradition...First Round Draft Pick Contract Negotiation Hysteria!

Posted by: baltova1 | July 30, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

No matter how good he is, its hard to want a guy who posts a photo of himself shirtless with pink tights. Did he inherit some of Freddie Mercury's outfits?

Posted by: raymitten | July 30, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, Edwin Jackson traded from the Diamondbacks to the White Sox. A lot of "reports" said this would be part of a three-way trade that would send Jackson to the Nats for Adam Dunn, but now the White Sox are claiming this is a stand alone deal...

Posted by: baltova1 | July 30, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Boras works for Harper, so if Harper REALLY wants to play a.s.a.p. then it is entirely in his control to do so. All he has to do is tell Boras to get a deal done now.

I'm confident that there are many forces at work here, not all of which are working in concert.

Posted by: BoteMan | July 30, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

The White Sox have acquired Edwin Jackson from the Diamondbacks for pitching prospects Daniel Hudson and David Holmberg.

Read more:

Posted by: hansenjo | July 30, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Straw man. Tear it down. But let's say for argument sake that Harper fails to sign. How did that work out for the team last time it happened. Fail to sign overpriced Aaron Crow, wait a year and draft Drew Storen. Still bring Major League talent to the team at fractional cost before Crow get's out of diapers. Nobody wants to miss out on a talent like Harper, but if he proves ready to play by 2013 it would be fast. And as we have already seen this year, you can trade an unproven prospect for a major league all-star easily. There are limits to the signing demands. Any decent 1st round pick can be converted to a proven star 12 months after signing.

Posted by: natbiscuits | July 30, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying Harper wouldn't return to to CSN for another year. But it would hardly be a good move for him to do so.

His college coach was just hired by UNLV -- and replaced at CSN by a local area high school coach. That's not exactly Tony Gwinn...

Assuming Harper played another year in college, and avoided injury, he would almost certainly be the Orioles choice at #1 next June. The O's have a lot of experience with Boras having signed Boras' clients Matt Wieters and Jake Arrieta -- and currently negotiating with another Boras client Manny Machado (this year's 3rd overall pick). But Harper is unlikely to get a much better offer from Baltimore than he is currently getting from Washington, and he will have lost one season's salary -- and postponed his free-agency eligibility as well.

The result will certainly be less money over the long haul. Plus Harper does risk injury playing another year in college.

Scott Boras has a bad reputation with fans -- and some GM's. But he has an excellent reputation for putting his client's best interests ahead of his own causes. The best example of that was Stephen Strasburg. Boras wanted more than anything to make SS a test-case to change how U.S.-born players enter pro baseball. But in the end, he listened to Stephen and signed for less.

I would be surprised if Bryce Harper didn't do the same.

Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | July 30, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Good trade by Rizzo, a top-rated prospect at a postion of need in exchange for a reliever that the Pirates, of all teams, deemed worthless at the end of last year. Capps was a good buy-low target when we signed him, and he is a good sell-high candidate now.

I really, really wish I had not looked at Harper's Facebook page. He turns 18 in October. This is going to require some patience. On the other hand, if he does fail to sign, we can all console ourselves by looking at his Facebook page ...

Posted by: BobLHead | July 30, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Give the Harper money to Dunn.

Posted by: swanni | July 30, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

And the kid can go surfing for all I care; he's bad news.

Posted by: swanni | July 30, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I think we're forgetting something. Harper's bargaining position was unique because he made himself available this year. He should be a rising senior in high school, but he got his GED, left HS and went to the junior college to make himself available for the draft. Why go to all of that effort, become the #1 pick for a team that has shown it will pay the money for a #1 pick, if you don't sign? If he doesn't sign, he goes back into the draft next year, which is when he would have been drafted if he had stayed in high school. Doesn't make sense. He'll preen and pose and then he'll sign.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 30, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

If they only have the $ for Harper or Dunn, I'll take Adam.

Posted by: swanni | July 30, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo/Ramos Reprise in a Harper discussion.

He hit .400 in spring training.

It was only spring training.

He struggled in AAA early this year (.179 in 67 AB).

When called up, after Mauer got hurt, he was the first big-league player in 68 years to collect seven hits in his first two career games. He was the first catcher to get four hits in his debut in 110 years.

He’s fat.

He’ll put on muscle and lose some fat. He’s built like a catcher.

He’s slow.

Most catchers are slow.

He’s undisciplined at the plate.

Eckstein, Dunn (okay, maybe not), Pudge, and Willingham will help him to be more selective and take more walks. His OBP will then be better by 50 points.

He can’t hit the curve ball.

A lot of rookies can’t hit the curve. When he’s more selective, he’ll get more fastballs.

He’s hitting .240 in the minors right now.

Kirby Puckett was hitting .250 at Toledo when he came up. True, but just kidding here!

He’s still growing. He has power to all fields. In spring training, he hit a home run that cleared a 35-foot high wall behind the center field fence. His arbitration clock has been delayed sufficiently. He has a great, great arm. He has Pudge to learn from. He’s only 22, and has been young at each level since he signed at 16-7. He has a fine swing, somewhat polished. His ‘big brother,’ Miguel Carbrera, a huge supporter, played with him when V won the Caribbean World Series.

Posted by: nova_g_man | July 30, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Give Harper's money, Guzman's money and Capps' money to Dunn.

Posted by: raymitten | July 30, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

From Jim bowden of all people:

Kurkjian of ESPN reporting that the Nationals told him directly they are NOT trading Dunn to the White Sox for Edwin Jackson

Posted by: swanni | July 30, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

And whether SS or Harper, Baseball #1 pick is "chump change " compared to NFL.. Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | July 30, 2010 12:28 PM |

So true. Compare the SS mioney vs. the money Aroldis Chapman was able to get as a totally uncontrolled free agent. SS, the better pitcher, signed for less than half.

And hey natbuscuits, the Nats did seem to have benefitted by not signing the top draft pick a couple years ago. You are right. We won't truly know for awhile, but it certainly appears to be the case. Storen signed for $1.9 million cheaper than the figure Crow demanded. While this one case could turn out fine, it doesn't mean that the Nats should always tell their top pick to take a hike. That is asking for a disaster (or even more of one). Naturally, I would rather see the Nats draft wisely and sign all their top picks.

Posted by: EdDC | July 30, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"He'll preen and pose and then he'll sign."

Agreed. And then he will preen and pose some more, evidently.


Posted by: BobLHead | July 30, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Returning to JC baseball ?? Can't be serious about that -- waaay too much downside. Just a clumsy ploy that makes the agent and player look greedy. Losing a year of development, service time and salary are hardly worth the risk. You still get drafted by a last place team.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 30, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

ATTENTION Nationals Fans, be advised the Filthy invasion has begun.

Just came back from the Navy Yard to my hootch over in Crytal City and saw lots of Phillies fans already mingling along M Street and near the MC Barracks. Oh brother, the tour buses should be arriving shortly. 40K in the house 30K screaming for those rotten 17th and Patterson CheezySteaks!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | July 30, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

@natmeister...and you get to play for the frog. Also, despite what many (myself included) grouse about how DC is a Redskins town, Balto is much more a Ravens town.

To say nothing of the fact that, even with Buck S. as manager, this is still a franchise in total disarray. In fact, some writers have said that it is having the worst season in franchise history, and that would include decades as the St. Louis Browns.

Unless Harper is willing to play in a disastrous situation until 2017 or 18, when he becomes a free agent, both he and Boras know that signing with the Nats is far and away the best choice.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | July 30, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Eff you too, kid.

Makes you love Storen even more.

Posted by: nattaboy | July 30, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Also @Baltova...Yes, Harper's position is unique, but maybe not as good as you think. Don't forget MLB's CBA is due up. One of Bud the Vile's goals is to slot and limit draft choice prices. What's more, the MLBPA will be more than happy to buy into that, especially if there is a way to change some of that money into vets money.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | July 30, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

If Harper had wanted to play baseball this summer, he shouldn't have had Boras represent him. He chose cash over baseball. And I doubt either of them wants the little prodigy stuck in Baltimore, although a future dose of Buck Showalter might not be such a bad idea for Bryce.

Posted by: samantha7 | July 30, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

IF he really wanted to start playing ASAP, why did he sign Boras? Sounds to me like he's just another greedy athlete, trying to get his mitts on as many millions as he can. Also, Boras is terrible. He's single-handedly driving up contracts to obscene levels, which in turn drives up the prices for us fans. He's gotta be one of the worst influences on baseball out there.

Posted by: futbolclif | July 30, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Scott Boras is the baseball antichrist. Why teams draft his players or negotiate with him on his FA's is beyond me. ARoid, Texeira, Harper all grade A tools. SS seems to have a good head on his shoulders, but the baseball antichrist will keep whispering in his ear and he'll be wearing pinstripes after his next contract. Boras is what is wrong with baseball.

Posted by: sleastacks | July 30, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

If Harper wants to win the highly coveted JuCo championship, he should tell the Nats and quit wasting everybody's time.

Posted by: RireGrist | July 30, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

When will people realize that Boras waits until the last minute for ALL of his big clients

He will do the same thing here

Posted by: Bious | July 30, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

ARoid, Texeira, Harper all grade A tools.

Posted by: sleastacks | July 30, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, what exactly makes Teixiera a tool? Because he didn't want to go to a crack-infested, STD-laden city and play for a team that wouldn't compete at a AAA level?

Interesting all of the players you mentioned happen to play for a team that would be considered an Orioles rival. Although, can it really be called a rivalry when one team is 30+ games below .500?

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | July 30, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The problem here lies with major league
baseball. When a team drafts a player, that team should keep the rights to that player, and not allow him to sit out a year and re-enter the draft.
I`ll bet that all the bloggers who were dissing Boras, would switch places with him in a blink of an eye. He may be a dick..but he makes his clients a lot of money...which makes him more different than any person working in commission sales...that type job fit any
bloggers? So..whining about someone who
is at the top of his profession..sounds like envy, and jealousy combined.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | July 30, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, what exactly makes Teixiera a tool? Because he didn't want to go to a crack-infested, STD-laden city and play for a team that wouldn't compete at a AAA level?

OK dude, you can just stay in happy cracker-land. He CHOSE to play in a town that's just as infested with crack & STDs as DC. Have you been into the city lately? But hey, you live in a town with a AAA team that can't compete at the AAA level either, so I can see why you're bitter. Go vote for cuccinelli or something.

Interesting all of the players you mentioned happen to play for a team that would be considered an Orioles rival. Although, can it really be called a rivalry when one team is 30+ games below .500?

well, maybe you're the only one calling it a rivalry? And yes, they're all tools, because they decided to "play for a winner" by being on the team with all the other super-duper-stars on it. It may get you a ring, but it's kinda boring to build an all-star team and let the rest of the league try to win. It's very satisfying to the rest of us to see them fail so often.

Posted by: Section406 | July 31, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

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