Let the record show that if Bryce Harper never plays another game for the Washington Nationals, his last plate appearance resulted in a double off the Rockies' Chris Rusin, in Harper's 3,306th at-bat for the franchise that drafted him -- his 922nd hit and 385th extra-base hit. Hopefully, Harper set aside his jersey from that moment as a keepsake, for children and grandchildren.
Mark Lerner, the managing principal owner of the Nationals, acknowledged in an interview that Harper's time with the club might be over, and that the offer made to the slugger at season's end would stand as the team's best offer. To date, there has never been a counter from Harper's agent, Scott Boras, which is understandable, given the six-season wait that players must endure before reaching the open market of free agency.
It might be that the Philadelphia Phillies or the Chicago White Sox or some other team is prepared to blow past the offer made by the Nationals, and in that case, Harper probably is gone. Washington general manager Mike Rizzo has been going about the business of reshaping a contender under the assumption that Harper has departed.
But before anyone completely slams the door shut, it's worth remembering: Stuff happens. Negotiations take many twists and turns, and if there is one lasting tether between any organization and a particular agent right now, it's between Harper's representative, Scott Boras, and the Nationals.