Washington Nationals: 3 takeaways from Winter Meetings

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WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: General Manager Mike Rizzo (R) of the Washington Nationals talks to team owner Mark Lerner during batting practice before their game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on July 31, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: General Manager Mike Rizzo (R) of the Washington Nationals talks to team owner Mark Lerner during batting practice before their game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on July 31, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images) /
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KEEPING HARPER

Although it popped up recently before Orlando, the openness between the Nats and Bryce Harper in trying to workout a contract extension is encouraging.

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Yes, Harper might hit the open market. Even if he files for free agency, the door remains open for him staying with Washington.

As both sides admit to talks, while keeping any negotiations private and out of the press, the chance of a deal being struck before next season begins increases. As with Stephen Strasburg in 2016, any talks are low key and cordial.

The difference between the two Boras clients is the stature of Harper in the sport. When Instagram photos of Harper spending time with friends draws headlines, it is hard to accomplish anything in secret.

Both sides have told you they want to get something done. When you consider the influx of money into baseball, Harper’s demands of $35-$40 million a year are in line with his potential value.

You can also understand why the Nats are reluctant to hand out such a huge contract. Regardless of how much the Lerner family or the franchise is worth, a $400 million contract is a huge deal.

Next: Which Nats are HOF-bound?

If you are looking for a bold take from this week, expect a deal to get done. All the signs are there saying they want to.

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