$400 million for Bryce Harper? 'Don't sell me short,' he says
Nationals superstar Bryce Harper seems to be setting the bar appropriately high well in advance of his free agency.
In this very space, our own Mike Axisa recently explored the eventual free agency of Nationals superduperstar and reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper. Thanks to Harper's young age and tremendous performance to date, he's going to make what's likely an unimaginable sum of money when he hits the market after the 2018 season (assuming he doesn't sign an extension).
Putting a price on what it would take to sign a talent like Harper on the (generally) unfettered market is tough, but the wise assumption is that your guesses will be way too low. On that point, Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier of CBSSports Radio 106.7 The Fan in D.C. recently floated the idea of a $400 million contract to Harper himself. Here's how Harper responded:
"Yeah, I mean I don’t really think about that stuff. I just try to play the years out and do everything I can to help my team win. But don’t sell me short. That’s what you’re doing right now to me, so don’t do that."
First, Harper indeed says "play the years out," which suggests he's indeed bent on reaching the open market as soon as possible. Then there's the "don't sell me short," which suggests that $400 million is more floor than ceiling. About that, he's absolutely right. Giancarlo Stanton has already crossed the $300 million rubicon, and that was an extension. Put Harper on the market and throw in a few years of inflation, and half a billion dollars is very likely in play.
Like you, though, I'm probably guessing too low.
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