Opt-Out Clause Could Be Key In Harper Sweepstakes

"All we can do is put our most aggressive foot forward," Rick Hahn says.

Bruce Levine
December 13, 2018 - 1:36 pm
Bryce Harper

Mark Brown/Getty Images

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LAS VEGAS (670 The Score) -- As the Bryce Harper sweepstakes continued with plenty of mystery Thursday, a theme was stressed.

A key component in the 26-year-old Harper signing a long-term deal could be the creativity that comes in the contract structure, specifically regarding opt-out clauses, sources said. An opt-out clause three or four years into a new deal could be a big draw for Harper, as it would give him the power to determine his future and ensure leverage in pushing a team to spend big and build around him. Such a timeframe would also allow Harper to potentially re-enter free agency while still in his prime at age 29 or 30 and set another contract deal if the market is favorable to him at that time. 

As for the White Sox, general manager Rick Hahn remained cautiously optimistic about his team's chances of landing Harper and the work the organization has put in.

"It is good there is excitement in what we are doing," Hahn said Thursday morning. "We are going to remain consistent with what our vision has been for this team the long term. If some things come together in the next few weeks, we will act on it. We will not get caught up in emotion just to do something for the sake of doing it."

Hahn understands the White Sox must be patient in waiting on Harper to make a decision.

"There is an excitement here," Hahn said. "There is a fever pitch here. People like to leave here with something to show for the effort. This is just about getting the right pieces in the organization no matter what time of the year it is. We are excited to be discussing impactful moves for the long term. It's good to have a seat at the table for some long impactful moves."

"This work does not mean anything is going to come together. We still have a fair amount of work to do. Even if we are able to convert on something big, there is a lot of work to do behind it to get us where we want to be (as an organization)."

Hahn believes the White Sox have put themselves in the best position possible to land Harper.

"There is only so much we can control in the end," Hahn said. "Ultimately, free-agent players have earned the right through hard work to chose their ultimate destination. Sometimes things beyond money factor into these things -- location, wife's family location, all sorts of things go into these decisions before they get done. All we can do is put our most aggressive foot forward and try to convert on necessary targets. The pace of these things is a bit of a balancing act. Some extremely high-profile deals happen as late as February or March. That doesn't mean something can't come together in the coming weeks. At the end, when it gets done is not as important as getting it done."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.​