Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $13.625 million deal for the 2017 season on Friday, according to multiple reports.
That figure isn’t a record, but it still represents a hefty raise for the 24-year-old Harper, who earned $5 million during the 2016 season.
If the two sides hadn’t found a common ground, they would have exchanged salary figures with a three-person arbitration panel potentially choosing one of the salaries for the upcoming season.
After being voted the unanimous NL MVP in 2015 when he hit .330/.460/.639 with 42 homers and 99 RBI, Harper struggled in 2016, hitting just .243/.373/.441 with 24 homers and 86 RBI. There were numerous reports in the final couple months of the season that he was battling a shoulder injury.
Through his first five seasons in the majors, the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year and four-time All-Star has hit 121 homers.
Harper is under contract with the Nationals through the 2018 season, and he reportedly is seeking a mega-deal worth $400 million in free agency. Unless, of course, he agrees to an extension with Washington before then.