Washington Nationals: Extending Rizzo increases keeping Bryce Harper
By Steve Rudden
Now that Mike Rizzo has signed his extension with the Washington Nationals, do they have a better shot at re-signing Bryce Harper after the 2018 Season?
Mike Rizzo was one of the most important soon to be free agents in DC this off-season, but that changed once he signed his two-year extension on Thursday morning. With Rizzo being locked up, does that give the Washington Nationals a better shot at keeping Bryce Harper after 2018?
It definitely doesn’t hurt their chances. Depending on what happens for the rest of the 2018 season, keeping Harper in Washington will be a priority. We all know that he doesn’t want to talk about what happens after the season, but it’s always going to be talked about among the fans and the media.
What Rizzo has done with the Nationals is simply incredible. They are set up to win way past 2018. It’s a great thing that Rizzo is here. He knows how to build an organization and it’s been showing ever since he got to Washington in 2007.
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The good news for Nationals fans is that Rizzo has a great relationship with Harper’s agent, Scott Boras. It wouldn’t surprise me if Harper tested the free agent market just to see who was interested. In the end, the Nationals will be able to re-sign him to a reasonable contract.
The reasonable contract will give him the option to opt out after a few years. That way Harper would be able to test the free agent market out again at a relatively young age and to see where the Nationals are in terms of winning long-term. I’m sure Harper doesn’t want to keep playing for a team that can never win the World Series.
The Nationals organization is prepared no matter what happens with Harper. They’ve got Victor Robles in the minor leagues and is ready to make an impact in the majors. We’ve seen what Robles can do, but it would be nice to see him play on a regular basis.
What would be nice is if Rizzo can work on a contract extension with Harper in the middle of the season like he did with Stephen Strasburg a few seasons ago. That would be a great thing to happen for the team, but it’s not really that realistic in my opinion.
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Let’s just hope that keeping Rizzo as the Nationals General Manager is one of the main reasons why Bryce Harper remains with the team past 2018.