Bryce Harper has been the focal point and centerpiece for Major League Baseball for weeks and months. After Manny Machado signed a record-breaking deal with the San Diego Padres, the spotlight has been focused primarily on Harper as he chooses between multiple teams. While the extended contract talks have started to bore a number of fans, the longevity of it all could end up affecting free agency for many years to come.
With Machado signing a deal for $300 million over 10 years, Harper is expected to sign for a contract bigger than that. As of this writing, the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Philadelphia Phillies are all still in the chase with rumors having each of as much in it as the next.
Looking at just how long this has gone on, though, some are joking that next year's free agents are signing before Harper does for this season. Unfortunately, that's really no joke as three MLB stars set to become free agents after this current season have already signed and won't even enter the drama.
- P Miles Mikolas - St. Louis Cardinals
- CF Aaron Hicks - New York Yankees
- 3B Nolan Arenado - Colorado Rockies
Players all around the league are paying attention to the contract talks for Harper and will want to see what their value is. That's quite common, but knowing that $300 million or more could end up on the table, extended hold-outs are likely going to become more of the usual as time goes on.
Reigning American League MVP Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox is of the mindset that contract talks now are actually being done by players to help those in the future.
"It's not just about me. The guys behind me, you want to do things for them. As players, we're all kind of one. We play the game. You just have to kind of pass the baton to the next guy and think about their family."Bryce Harper is in a prime position to sign a contract that will likely be somewhere between $300 million to $350 million with opt-out possibilities after a number of years. Enormous amounts of money are on the line for the MLB player, and one team is going to land their big star. While all of the focus is on contract talks with Harper now, some don't realize how future free agency seasons are being affected already.