Bryce Harper Will Make ‘The Decision’ Look Silly
Winter Meetings have begun in Major League Baseball this week. It’s expected that moves will be made all over the place in these four days, and I’m sure we’ll come out with a team who is a sudden World Series contender. News came out on Monday that Washington Nationals are unlikely to talk long-term extension with Bryce Harper whose contract is up after the 2018 season. People rushed to freak out, and we all need to take a step back.
This is very similar to LeBron James and Cleveland circa 2009. James and the Cavs weren’t going to do a deal, and we were headed for a LeBron free agency that culminated in ‘The Decision.’ We’re already talking about Harper’s next team two years before it’s even going to happen. It feels extremely rushed and a Decision-like free agency situation. Harper is demanding the richest contract in baseball history right now. A lot of things can happen before the 2018 season.
First, Harper could get seriously injured. I hate to be doom and gloom but if Harper hurts himself in a way that limits his ceiling, that’s going to drive down his contract. Nationals could have a change of heart by the 2018 season. You never know what could happen. What if Washington wins a World Series? They are going to pull a Florida Marlins and get rid of everyone who got them there? That’s pissing on your fans and telling them it’s raining. Doubt this last scenario would happen but the money might not be there for Harper who is commanding a 400 million dollar deal over 10 years which comes out to 40 million a year. There are only a few teams who can afford that now.
Interesting to see how this affects Washington fans attitude towards Harper in the coming year. My guess is they will still cheer for him, but like a risky significant other, they won’t get too close.