As we try and do, if you have run out of free views on Washington Post articles here are some of the highlights:
On Scott Boras (Bryce’s agent):
Only one team can talk to Harper about his 2019 destination, and that’s Washington. Yes, we know Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, typically prefers to take his clients all the way to free agency so he can engage 30 potential bidders, not just one. But two quick reminders: Boras works for Harper, not the other way around. And the Nationals already did a prior-to-free agency extension with one Boras client, right-hander Stephen Strasburg, so they have navigated territory that’s uncharted by most front offices and ownership groups.
On the possibility of forgoing the re-signing:
To be clear, this isn’t a no-brainer from the team’s perspective. There are front office executives and scouts for other clubs who believe the Nationals could roll out a 2019 outfield of Juan Soto in left, Victor Robles in center and Adam Eaton in right — with Michael A. Taylor around should uber-prospect Robles stumble — and compete for a division title. It’s a viable — and incredibly cheap — outfield, and that would allow the Nationals flexibility to pursue their other obvious 2019 needs: a catcher, a second baseman, starting pitching and bullpen help.
On Harper’s Body of Work:
Look, too, not just at this season, but at the body of work. Since 2012, when Harper came up as a 19-year-old, he has a .900 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, a figure that encompasses an MVP season and some swoons. But as a whole, here are the active players in that time with at least 2,000 plate appearances who outpace him: Mike Trout (.998), Joey Votto (.961), Miguel Cabrera (.940), Paul Goldschmidt (.938), Giancarlo Stanton (.923) and Kris Bryant (.906). Every single one of those players is older than Harper.
The fan’s pitch to Bryce:
There’s a way to appeal to Harper right now, and it’s this: We need you and we want you, Bryce. We’re going to win a World Series right here. Here’s a 10-year deal worth $280 million. That trails only Stanton in total sum, but it trumps him in average annual value. We’ll include a no-trade clause so you know you can raise your family here, but we’ll also throw in opt-outs — after, say, years four and five — so you could reenter free agency if money continues to flow into the sport and you perform as we believe you will. And that’s MVP-caliber, Bryce. We think you’re a Hall of Famer, and you’ll go in wearing that Curly W.
This will definitely be discussed pretty much every day until we find out what Bryce is going to do.