Colorado Rockies: Bryce Harper’s contract precedent for Nolan Arenado?

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MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies and the National League talks with Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals and the National League during Gatorade All-Star Workout Day ahead of the 88th MLB All-Star Game at Marlins Park on July 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies and the National League talks with Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals and the National League during Gatorade All-Star Workout Day ahead of the 88th MLB All-Star Game at Marlins Park on July 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Earlier this week, according to multiple sources, six-time All Star Bryce Harper rejected an offer of 10 years and approximately $300 million deal from the Washington Nationals late last season.

This revelation raised some eyebrows considering the length and price tag that was turned down and the sub-standard numbers Harper put up in 2018. It also raised many eyebrows in Denver as the Colorado Rockies‘ six-time All-Star Nolan Arenado will be eligible to enter free agency after next season if the two parties are unable to work out a deal.

The now 26-year-old Harper has been the face of the Nationals’ franchise, if not the National League, since he broke into the league in 2012. His young age, his career numbers, and market ability, to go along with Scott Boras being his agent, should bring him a possible historic payday.

Harper has been one of the most feared hitters the last few years with a career slash line of .279/.388/.512 and decided to play out his contract and test out the open market instead of signing an extension. That gamble may not have paid off as well as he thought it would as he had one of his worst seasons as a professional.

Harper’s Stats by Season
YearTmGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
2012WSN13959753398144269225918656120.270.340.477.81711825482330
2013WSN1184974247111624320581146194.274.368.486.85413320645344
2014WSN100395352419610213322238104.273.344.423.76811114961314
2015WSN153654521118172381429964124131.330.460.6491.1091983381550415
2016WSN1476275068412324224862110108117.243.373.441.81411422311301020
2017WSN111492420951342712987426899.319.413.5951.0081562501510311
2018WSN15969555010313734034100133130169.249.393.496.889133273760916
7 Yr7 Yr92739573306610922183181845217531585834.279.388.512.9001391693662393470
1621621626925781071613233291135102146.279.388.512.9001392961242612

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

The 27-year-old Nolan Arenado will be keeping a close eye on how Harper’s free agency plays out. The face of the Rockies’ franchise actually has better career numbers than Harper in one less year of service. He is also the better defender of the two after winning his sixth consecutive Gold Glove this past weekend. If Harper doesn’t receive as lucrative contract as he had hoped, will Arenado want to risk having a down year before entering free agency?

Arenado’s Stats by Season
YearTmGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
2013COL133514486491302941052202372.267.301.405.70681197161221
2014COL111467432581243421861212558.287.328.500.828115216134151
2015COL15766561697177434421302534110.287.323.575.89812435417401113
2016COL160696618116182356411332368103.294.362.570.9321293521720810
2017COL159680606100187437371303262106.309.373.586.959130355214169
2018COL156673590104175382381102273122.297.374.561.9351333311631610
6 Yr6 Yr87636953348524975222251866161313285571.291.346.539.88612118051001853844
16216216268361997180415341142253106.291.346.539.886121334183178

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Along with Harper, Arenado and the Rockies will be closely monitoring free agent Manny Machado. If both of these two sign contracts over $30 million a year, the Rockies may be forced to begin looking for other options as the payroll to may not be large enough to meet Arenado’s asking price.

Next. Rumors say the Rockies are interested in this Houston Astros player. dark

So stay tuned as these contract talks develop in the coming months as they could have huge ramifications for Arenado’s future with the Rockies.

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