Maybe, just maybe, the Sox are seeing all the negative reaction and get back in the Harper derby. If you give Harper $320 million over 10 years with an opt-out to satisfy him, maybe at the back end of the contract, you have bad money and maybe even during his prime years (due to defense and a bad hitting season), he isn't worth $32 million per year. But one bad contract won't kill a team from being competitive. And adding him to the Sox makes it more likely that the Sox are competitive, helps with marketing and attendance. The reward of Harper substantially outweighs the risk of him. He clearly is waiting for his number to be matched. The Sox simply have no reason not to do it (except probably a mandate from the owner).