The Nationals only control Bryce Harper for one more season, but GM Mike Rizzo tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post that he would be “surprised” if the two sides don’t discuss an extension prior to Harper reaching the open market. “I feel like I have a great relationship with Bryce and his family since he was 16,” said Rizzo of Harper, whom the Nationals selected with the No. 1 overall pick back in 2010. “…I think Bryce has comfort with [Washington], loves his teammates, likes our organization and has a loyal mentality. But this is a unique player in a unique situation.” Rizzo adds that there’s no set time for extension talks to begin, but Sherman notes that the Nats were able to secure a seven-year extension with fellow Scott Boras client and fellow former No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg less than one year before Strasburg was set to hit the open market. Any talks with Harper would likely be precedent-setting; there’s been plenty of speculation that he’ll ink a contract in excess of $400MM, which would of course shatter Giancarlo Stanton’s record-setting $325MM deal.
More from the NL East…
- Not only are the Marlins hoping to trim their payroll to $90MM for the coming season, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, they’re also hoping to limit the 2019 payroll to roughly that same level. The Marlins’ new ownership group believes that revenue will increase in 2020 once they’re in line for a new television contract, and owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter also believe they can eventually add $5-10MM in annual revenue by selling the naming rights to the stadium. Jackson details some other more nebulous methods by which the Marlins hope to increase revenue, which would eventually allow the team to field a loftier payroll.
- The Marlins have hired former Mets bench coach Dick Scott as their director of player development, reports Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The 55-year-old Scott will work under newly hired vice president of player development Gary Denbo. Scott will also absorb the responsibilities of the minor league field coordinator position in his newly created role.
- Newly minted Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters today that he doesn’t feel pressure to come in and “accelerate things” or rush the process with his new club (link via David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Anthopoulos said he’s spoken with John Hart and AGMs Adam Fisher and Perry Minisian at length to help garner as much knowledge as possible about his new organization in a short time. The former Blue Jays GM (who worked with Minisian in Toronto) expressed excitement over the club’s farm system, calling out Ronald Acuna, Austin Riley and Max Fried, among others, as players he’s excited to see develop. Anthopoulos noted that there have been internal discussions about the bullpen and about third base, where Riley is rising through the ranks, though he unsurprisingly didn’t exactly tip his hand as to which way they’d proceed this winter. Anthopoulos stressed the desire to build a sustainable contender in Atlanta and didn’t sound like a GM who anticipated coming in to make wholesale changes to an organization with a farm system that’s on the rise. Braves fans will absolutely want to check out the full column, as it’s packed with insightful quotes from the team’s new top baseball decision-maker.
I have a hard time seeing Washington shelling out 400+ for Harper. A possibility, I guess. it just doesn’t seem very likely. I highly doubt Harper has any intentions of giving any kind of discount. Highest bidder wins.
Offer 10/350 mil and see if they will accept it. I’m sure Harper understands that taking too much will hurt the team trying to sign other good players.
Harper is a Boras guy, that won’t fly.
The ultimate decision is Harper’s though. Jered Weaver signed a team friendly deal with the Angels. And, really, what’s the practical difference between 35 and 40 mil?
Jared Weaver? Jesus….
$50 plus million is very practical. I make a comfortable 6 figure income and it’s likely I will not earn that amount in my lifetime. Will you?
I think Washington is probably the headliners still. They’ve shown a willingness to pay when they want their guy like Werth, Scherzer, and Stras. Add in the relationship they have with boras and I don’t think you’ll ever see Harper wearing another jersey
Depends on how much money Washington tries to defer
You mean he wont be able to buy an island with cash? When you are talking 100’s of millions, I wonder how much deferred money matters
Islands aren’t as expensive as you would think. Of course the common man can’t buy one. But I remember adidas or someone offering an island or a million for breaking some record and that people found out the million was worth more. Those are very lose parameters because I don’t remember the details and didn’t bother looking it up, but I believe there was something like that.
My family owns an island here in NC that you can buy for under a million. We have used it for camping for several generations. It’s about 60 acres.
10/500 with 250 deferred over another 10 years.
10/1B… $30m/year with $1m deferred over 700 years
This is good.
What’s the (defer)ence ?
You got puns
So did Cargo with the Rockies.
Not huge Harper fan -hope they save cap space for surrounding talent
I’d offer him 8 years 300 million with an opt out after 5 seasons. He’s a once in a lifetime talent.
I bet that offer will finish third or fourth to the offer he actually takes next year.
I would see an opt out after three or four but not five. The parobola of large contracts shifts down when players hit thirty.
Also i think its more like 400/8 backloaded
I could see no opt out, just maximizing the total and being done with fa, seems more his style. Unless he has to settle for an unideal team.
The Nats owners are super rich and spend money in unpredictable ways. They always seem to find money for Boras clients that they like. I dont think they will give up Harper without a serious fight.
That being said, I dont think any team can REALLY afford Harper’s eventual contract, and whoever signs him is going to struggle to field a complete team with that contract on the books. Lone studs cant make a team good., just ask Mike Trout.
You’d think teams would have learned that by now. The bright, shining example of this I’ve always pointed to was the Giants’ Barry Bonds years. He took up too much of their payroll and limited their ability to acquire needed talent. They didn’t win a World Series until after his contract expired, and in fact they won 3 in five years following his departure.
Angels can acquire talent just fine with Trout in the books. Problem is they spent their payroll capacity on a bunch of ancients, Pujols Hamilton Weaver Wilson Street etc. Plenty of money to sign good players, they just signed the wrong ones.
Let’s see if they can’t extend him by July. Otherwise, do you let him walk away for nothing?
I cant see them cashing in when they will be able to compete in the weakest division in MLB.
For years, we’ve heard the articles, unnamed sources, and theories about the $300-500 million dollar deals the likes of Trout, Kershaw, Harper, Machado, Bryant, Correa, etc. could command. Now that those years are nearly upon us, it’ll be interesting to actually see how much money is in the game, to see if payrolls will expand or if a larger portion of it will tie to these young superstars. It’s a market reset like the NBA experienced two years ago, except baseball’s lack of salary cap means money won’t dry up as quick. $100 million dollar contracts could soon become a bargain. What a time to be able to hit something 3 out of 10 Times.
This is a great post but I hate the 3 out of 10 cliche.
If not extended by July, do they let him walk and not get anything, just to exit again in the second round.
Dusty is gone, they may be able to make it to the 2nd round now.
Harper will look funny as a Yankee. With their policy on being clean cut and having the “Professional” appearance, seeing Bryce Harper with no beard and “his flow” chopped off would be a sight . He indeed a special talent.
I am excited to see what Double A will
Do this offseason. I think the Braves made a great hire!!
Nats could trade for Stanton and have a Huge Bat in their lineup that costs 10/295 (if he doesn’t opt-out). He’s only 28, and his actual numbers are better than most people think. He’s been derailed twice by HBP (face and hand), that cost him 1/2 season twice (not his fault).
Harper & Stanton back-to-back in 2018? Sounds nice……
If Harper leaves after 2018….Nats still have a Big Bat in the lineup. If he stays…….they’ll need to “rob a bank”…….LOL
I like the idea of trading for Stanton now, and that will soften the blow of Harper’s departure. Nats can just float him the QO after the season and at least get a draft pick.
This is absurd. Alex the Anhtropologist was hired AFTER Hart made all key decisions regarding the coaching staff, and now he’s not going to trade any of the overrated prospects the Braves have stockpiled over the course of three consecutive seasons of 90 losses or more? So the Braves will hold onto Snitker and probably trot Dansby out to play awful baseball for at least one more year before the Anthropologist allowed to do something like trade Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey? Oh, and the league hasn’t even doled out its punishment to the Braves yet.
How can anyone be excited about the Braves? They’re going to be really, really bad for a long, long time. Their only hope was Dayton Moore and that got bungled.
Speak for yourself. I am excited by the Braves. I’m fine trotting a decent to above averga SS out every day. we may lose Maitan and a few other specs. But they weren’t going to help for a few years anyway. we have top end pitching talent on the way. top3 1B. top overall prospect. very exciting and young middle infield. top 5 catching platoon. New exciting GM. need to get a few salaries off the books. But of we find a way to trade for a top starter and fill 3rd base and bullpen. we are competitive next year and potential for a decade long competitive team. I feel you are way off that we will be very, very bad for a long time. most teams would love to be where we are regardless of the MLB sanctions. Go spread your negativity elsewhere. If your not a fan, move along.