Bryce Harper, Nationals reach 2-year deal to avoid grievance hearing


Oct 7, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder

Bryce Harper

hits a RBI double against the San Francisco Giants in the fifth inning during game four of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

According to multiple reports, Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a two-year, $7.5 million deal to avoid a grievance hearing that was scheduled for Tuesday.

The new deal solves a long-running contract dispute that began when the Nationals signed Harper after selecting him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

Harper had originally signed a five-year contract worth $9.9 million, including a $6.25 million signing bonus. But Harper and agent Scott Boras believed that the young outfielder should be arbitration-eligible this winter, while the Nationals believed that Harper should not have qualified for arbitration until after the 2015 season.

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With the new pact, Harper will earn $2.5 million next season – a raise from the $1.5 million he would have earned under the previous agreement. The 22-year-old will now earn $5 million in 2016 and avoid arbitration until after the 2016 season.

Settling the contract dispute without going to a grievance hearing is great news for both sides. Harper can now focus on getting ready for the 2015 season and the Nationals can avoid a sticky situation with one of the team’s most important players – a player they will likely want to sign to a long-term contract extension in the near future.

Despite missing over two months on the disabled list, Harper still had a solid season with the bat in 2014, hitting .273 with 13 home runs in 100 games.

Harper was also the Nationals’ best player in the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, hitting .294 with three home runs.