Bryce Harper and the Nationals avoided arbitration, the team announced Friday, with multiple reports saying the four-time All-Star agreed to a $13.625 million deal for 2017.
Harper, 24, is coming off a down 2016 season in which he reportedly struggled with a shoulder injury. Still, his new contract represents an $8.625 million raise.
Harper hit .243/.373/.441 with 24 homers and 86 RBIs in 2016, a season after he was a unanimous choice as the National League MVP after a 2015 season in which he batted .330/.460/.639 with 42 homers and 99 RBIs.
A four-time All-Star in five MLB seasons, and the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year, Harper is under contract through the 2018 season. He reportedly will be seeking a $400 million deal if he hits free agency, which Cheap Full Dye Softball Jerseys most clients of his agent, Scott Boras, do in order to maximize their contracts.
Harper already has been the focus of rumors that he eventually will end up with Yankees, where his left-handed swing is tailor-made for the team’s stadium. Harper has 121 home runs in five MLB seasons.
Just what exactly are the Diamondbacks? I’m not sure anyone could have seen the mediocrity that bound the DBacks in 2016. Trading Dansby Swanson is still a head-scratching move, and Shelby Miller’s ineffectiveness was way worse than what many could have projected. But trading for Taijuan Walker gives the Diamondbacks another good, young arm in the rotation, and should the pitching hold up, Arizona could rebound in 2017.