WASHINGTON — Many have speculated about how much money Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals could make once he hits free agency after the 2018 season.
Named NL MVP at the age of 22, he has the numbers and hardware to prove he is a generational talent, and will likely be paid as such if he continues to produce at the same level.
“I was talking to an executive this offseason,” Paulsen said. “At one point in time they said you could be the first $400 million player. Do you ever think about your future and what’s possible, in terms of you could break records for the money you make at one point in time?”
“Yeah, I mean I don’t really think about that stuff. I just try to play the years out and do everything I can to help my team win,” Harper said. “But don’t sell me short. That’s what you’re doing right now to me, so don’t do that.”
“I’m looking forward to just playing this year, just looking forward to playing the next couple years,” he added. “And I think all that stuff will play out.”
Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton currently has the largest contract in baseball history after signing a 13-year, $325 million deal in 2014. Anything north of $400 million would certainly top that.
Harper also spoke of what it’s like to grapple with superstardom at such an early age, why he — a Dallas Cowboys fan — wore a Washington Redskins cap to Super Bowl 50, and what he’s most looking forward to about playing for new manager Dusty Baker in 2016.
He goes on to address the state of his relationship with Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon more than four months removed from their public dugout brawl.