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Harper, Nationals agree to 1-year deal

MLB: Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals and star slugger Bryce Harper have agreed to a one-year, $21.65 million deal, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Harper, who is making $13.63 million this season, and the Nationals now avoid arbitration after this season and the Nats keep Harper in Washington until he hits free agency in 2019. The deal is the largest 1-year contract for a player eligible for arbitration, Heyman said.

When asked by Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post if he and the Nationals discussed about a deal beyond 2018, Harper said that he “doesn’t like to talk past then.” He also said that 2019 is “a long way away.”

However, Nationals general manager Mikel Rizzo said that Harper’s deal is one of “shared risk because the Nats “could end up overpaying if Bryce plays poorly” and Harper “could leave money on the table” if he has great campaign, according to Janes.

A four-time All-Star and 2015 NL MVP, Harper is having another fantastic season for the Nationals. The 24-year-old is in the top 10 in MLB in runs (first with 37), on-base percentage (first at .496), batting average (second at .372), RBI (seventh with 29) and home runs (tied for 10th with 10). His big bat has helped Washington post the best record in the National League at 22-12.