Harper signs contract extension with Nationals


The Washington Nationals and MLB star Bryce Harper have come to terms on a one-year extension.

On Saturday, the Nationals announced the new deal, which will see 24-year-old right fielder Harper make $21.65million in 2018.

The extension marks the largest one-year deal for an arbitration-eligible player in MLB history, with Harper set to become a free agent after next season.

Harper's deal also includes a $1m bonus if the four-time All-Star is named National League (NL) MVP in 2018.

"I think 2018 is a ways away," Harper said. "I'll let Scott and all those guys take care of that. Solidify what's going to happen now and for 2018 and the rest I'm not really worried about that right now."

Harper - a Silver Slugger Award winner - was the unanimous NL MVP in 2015, and with a .372/.496/.717 slash line, 10 home runs and 29 RBIs so far this season for the surging Nationals, he is the favourite to win the 2017 award.

"I think it shows the comfort level Bryce has with the organization and that we have with him," General manager Mike Rizzo said.

"It does a lot of good things for us. It gives us cost-certainty going into the season next year, and next year's payroll. I think most important, there's a comfort level, a comfortable player that doesn't have to worry about discussing a contract next year.

"He's our own. Drafted, developed, signed, been an MVP for us. He's a very unique player. There's not many comps for his performance, both in the short-term and in the bulk throughout his career. So he's a unique player with a unique talent set that is our own.

"We love what he's done for us, and we couldn't be happier that we know where we're at in 2018."