7:40am: Bryce Harper and the Nationals have avoided a grievance, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The two sides reached a settlement Sunday evening in advance of a potential Tuesday hearing. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets the two sides have agreed to a two-year deal.
The issue at stake was whether Harper had the right to opt out of the $1.5MM salary owed to him through the Major League deal he signed upon being drafted and enter baseball’s arbitration system, which would have allowed him to earn more money.
As Kilgore explained in a previous article, Harper and the Nationals reached a verbal agreement on a five-year, $9.9MM Major League deal just minutes before the signing deadline, and when a final contract was drafted up, there was no clause for Harper to opt into arbitration. Harper and agent Scott Boras refused to sign the deal, at which point MLB and the MLBPA stepped in, allowing a letter of agreement that stated Harper could opt for a grievance hearing to determine whether or not he qualified for arbitration, should be become eligible for arb before the deal’s final season.