Bryce Harper says he will not answer any questions about free agency
Bryce Harper is likely in line for the biggest contract in MLB history if and when he becomes a free agent next season, but he wants reporters to know they are going to be wasting their time if they ask him about it.
Harper held his first media session of the year on Monday, and he said any questions about his contract status or impending free agency should be reserved for his agent, Scott Boras.
“Just want to let you guys know I will not be discussing anything relative to 2019, at all,” Harper said, per Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports. “I’m focused on this year. I’m focused on winning and playing hard, like every single year. So if you guys have any questions about anything after 2018, you can call Scott and he can answer you guys.”
Harper is just 25 and has already established himself as one of the best players in baseball, so questions about his contract are going to pop up all season long. He doesn’t have to answer them, of course, but he can’t reasonably expect them to stop. Still, new Nationals manager Davey Martinez insists the star outfielder is focused on the 2018 season only.
“We stay in the here and the now. That’s how we’re going to handle it,” Martinez told reporters. “He just wants to perform every day, that’s it. He’s not worried about the years to follow. He’s worried about 2018 and what he can do to help this team win.”
The only thing that could possibly prevent Harper from breaking MLB records with his next deal is his health, but he said his knee has been giving him no problems and he feels as healthy as he can be.
“I thought my offseason went great,” Harper said. “Lower half feels really good, upper body feels really good. Pretty proportional. I had no setbacks. Nothing holding me back. And I felt great.”
We have all heard about the ongoing war between MLB players and teams with regard to free agent contracts, and Harper’s contract status could be a big reason for that. There should be nothing shy of an all-out bidding war for him when the 2018 season ends.