Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper’s agent may be seeking a contract extension that would keep the slugger playing in the nation’s capital for the next decade.
Scott Boras, Harper’s agent and a notorious figure in MLB circles, will negotiate the 20-year-old’s first-ever contract extension with the Washington Nationals. At the moment, Harper is still playing under the contract that he signed as an 18-year-old prospect.
Washington Post reporter Adam Kilgore reported Tuesday that Boras favors 12-year contracts for young players. “Scott Boras at the yard today. He laid out a not-so-abstract case for the Nats signing Bryce Harper to a 12-year contract,” Kilgore wrote on Twitter.
When asked how two sides could agree to terms on a 12-year-contract, Boras expressed his confidence that it wouldn’t be a problem. “It’s easy,” he reportedly told Kilgore.
A 12-year contract extension would be a departure from the norm; most MLB teams sign their rising stars to shorter contracts in order to forgo their first few years of free agent eligibility, the Washington Post notes. In an interview with reporters, Boras expressed his distaste for the trend — without mentioning Harper by name.
“I’m more into 12-year deals for young players,” Boras told the Post. “The M.O. is, you want to keep them in the franchise, and you want to be there for the fans and be a marquee for them. So why not?”
For his part, Harper is likely to be open to a 12-year contract; he’s expressed a desire to make a long-term commitment to the Nationals in the past. “You look at Cal Ripken. You look at Derek Jeter. You look at all the greats that played for one team their whole career,” Harper told the Washington Post in 2012. “I want to be like that. ... I’ve always wanted to play with that same team.”
The possibility of a 12-year contract extension for Harper is sure to generate excitement among Nationals fans, but not everyone is convinced that such a deal would be a wise investment. Bleacher Report columnist Chris Stephens went as far as to refer to a potential 12-year deal as “franchise suicide.”