If you were to go to Las Vegas and wager what will happen, this would be the safest bet.
If Harper is looking to double his haul for 2017 to $10 million, the Nationals are silly not to accept. Of all the scenarios that can happen, a one-year deal is the safest option. Aside from protecting the franchise, it gives him the incentive to play himself into a bigger contract next year.
A one-year contract also allows Rizzo and Boras more time to work on a multi-year deal without pressure. As with Strasburg, if Harper wants to be a Washington National five years from now, having the security of a short package in place establishes trust.
The Nationals want Harper for many years. If settling on a one-year pact can build on the foundation for the future, that is a winning hand for everybody.
With an extensive off-season for Washington ahead, getting Harper signed pain-free for 2017 allows the focus to shift on their bigger needs at catcher and closer. Also, if both sides can agree with ease, the odds of a longer deal increase. A result everyone who roots for the Nats wants.