Bryce Harper won’t be a free agent until 2018, but the Nationals and Harper’s camp are reportedly already talking extension. At least they were until they got a look at Harper’s salary demands. Now Washington is reportedly preparing to play out the final two years of his current deal and let him walk. According to USA TODAY Sports, Harper wants a $400 million deal that will cover more than 10-years.
This isn’t the first time that Harper, 24, has been connected with that $400 million figure. Back in 2012, when Harper was less than 50 plate appearances into his career, author Rob Miech predicted Harper would end up signing with the Yankees for that amount.
“I hate to disappoint Nats fans, but he was born to wear the pinstripes, and that’s been a goal. That’s nothing new or earth shattering. You know, the Yankees have a way of giving a ton of cash to guys like that, and someone told me the other day that they could foresee the first $400 million contract at that time.”
By the time Bryce Harper actually gets a mega-deal from the Yankees, people will have been talking about him getting a mega-deal from the Yankees for the better part of a decade. And there’s no reason for the talk to end unless the Nationals acquiesce.
Of course, Miech said that in a different time. Back in 2012 the Yankees were just a few seasons removed from a World Series and had the highest payroll in baseball. Since then, they’ve missed the playoffs in three of the last four seasons while the number of teams spending over $100 million a season has doubled from 9 to 18. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have overtaken New York in payroll and the Chicago Cubs have emerged as a new potential dynasty that has a lot of spending to do before they catch up with the most bloated payrolls in Major League Baseball. Then there are the Boston Red Sox who also love big ticket signings. And everyone else.
In fact, it’s hard to imagine a team unwilling to meet Harper’s contract demands. You know, except for the team that just did.