VIERA, FL. — With the Nationals' 2016 spring training underway in Viera, it is officially a new year. Bryce Harper's 2015 season is in the past. Now it's time for the encore and what he can do to follow up one of the best individual seasons in recent baseball history.
Harper held his first media availability on Monday and through 17 minutes of meeting with reporters, he addressed a wide range of subjects, including his future in Washington.
Harper went in-depth on the topic and was at one point asked flat-out about the New York Yankees, who some have speculated he may join someday after being a fan of the team growing up.
"I'm a National and that's what I want to be right now," he said when the Yankees came up. "I've got a W on my chest for the next three years. I'm very humbled to put the W on my chest every single day. I love the nation's capital. I love D.C. I'm getting chills thinking about it right now. It's such a monumental town. It's such a beautiful town. I look forward to playing there for the next three years and that's what on my mind right now."
The most interesting stuff from Harper on the subject, however, dealt with the price tag it could cost to keep him. Harper made headlines earlier this month in a radio interview on the Grant and Danny Show on 106.7 The Fan when he said 'don't sell me short' of a potential $400 million contract.
Harper expanded on that notion, and spoke in general about his potential as a player on the field, on Monday.
"I don't want people putting limits on me in anywhere in life," he said. "Don't put limits on guys. Don't do everything to put limits on guys. Just let it play out like everyone hopes or thinks it will."
"I've got three years to play [on this contract]. I've got three years to do everything I can to play this game. Whatever I was talking about, $400 [million], or whatever everyone is talking about with money, you can't put a limit on players and you can't put a limit on what they do. Whether that's on the field or off the field, what they do. Everyone says the sky's the limit, but we've been on the moon. You can't really tell me that. Just about putting limits on guys and doing everything they can to put it in the media. "
We still don't know how much it will cost to keep Harper in Washington, but it keeps sounding like it could be more than $400 million.
Quotes courtesy of the Washington Nationals