Ten or so teams might still be in the mix, including the Phillies, who've declared themselves ready to "spend stupid money", but the Nats were viewed among the favorites until Lerner said, "I really don't expect [Harper] to come back at this point". In light of the team's new commitments, he said, it "may very well be" that the $300MM offer to Harper is now off the table even in the event that he and Boras have a change of heart and wish to accept those terms.
"When we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, 'This is the best we can do.' We went right to the finish line very quickly", Lerner told 106.7 The Fan. General manager Mike Rizzo, though, insisted today the two aren't connected and that he has merely been addressing his team's biggest roster holes so far this winter while still allowing for the possibility Harper could return. "I think they've chose to move on". If he comes back, it's a strong possibility that we won't be able to make it work. "That's just not Mr. Boras' MO to leave money on the table".
"We feel good about where we're at", Rizzo said about his starting staff. "It'll be a young, pretty incredible outfield defensively, and certainly with the bat it's going to be special".
The Sox are, after all, owners of the eighth-longest postseason drought in American professional sports (nine years), haven't enjoyed a winning season in six years and are coming off a 100-loss season in which they ranked 25th among 30 major-league teams in attendance. I think Adam, now I think he's back. "And he'll still be iconic in the city".
"We really haven't had any real communications with him since he left D.C.", Lerner said.