Bryce Harper is set to hit the free agency market following the 2018 MLB season and there are already quite a few rumors coming out about what he might choose to do. Fans are anxious to find out where he will play the next chapter of his career as well. Despite all of the interest surrounding his upcoming free agency, Harper is not thinking about it yet.
He was asked about his future on Tuesday evening ahead of the Washington Nationals’ series with the New York Yankees, who are considered a potential landing spot for him in free agency, and made it clear that free agency isn’t on his mind right now in an interview with ESPN.
“I’m a National now. We’re going into the series trying to win some ballgames. That’s the only thing on my mind. Just trying to beat a good team over there.”
Harper continued on to talk more about focusing on the season rather than free agency, mentioning other teams that he has been connected to along the way.
“Every single time we go in to face somebody, we’ve got to do things to keep track of what’s important. And that’s winning ballgames and doing the things we can as a team to play well. Doesn’t matter who we’re playing — if it’s the Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, Phillies, name it. Doesn’t really matter the team or the atmosphere. Just trying to go in there, try to win ballgames.”
So far during the 2018 season in Washington, Harper has put together a big year. He has recorded a .232 batting average, which is low for his liking, but has smacked 13 home runs and driven in 30 RBIs. Those numbers are going to improve as the season moves forward, especially his batting average.
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) May 15, 2018
At 25 years old, Harper may very well end up receiving the richest contract in MLB history in the offseason. He has been connected to the Chicago Cubs a lot thus far, while the Yankees and Dodgers are also being rumored to be top destinations for him. Washington is also expected to have a good chance to re-sign their star outfielder.
All of that being said, the Nationals and their fans have to be happy with the approach Harper has taken. Not letting free agency get in the way of the 2018 season is important. Some players have allowed an upcoming free agency situation get the best of them the year leading up to it.
Expect to see the free agency rumors fly throughout the remainder of the season. Harper must keep ignoring all the rumors and whispers and focus on playing baseball for the Nationals.