Before the line-ups for today were published, news broke that the Nationals bought out Bryce Harper‘s final arbitration season for 2018 at a record-setting amount of $21.625 which prompted ESPN’s Buster Olney to echo the obvious that it was “interesting in timing”. As Maxwell Smart would say, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”. Well, Mike Rizzo claims that nothing was discussed beyond the 2018 season when Bryce Harper is set to become a free agent.
“We have a great relationship with Harp,” Mike Rizzo said. “We love having him around. He’s our own. Drafted, developed, signed and been an MVP for us. He’s a very unique player with a unique talent set and he’s our own. We love knowing where we are at in 2018.”
We will see if the Nationals can now work on a 10-to-15 year contract extension for Harper to make him a Nationals’ player for life. Harper’s record setting deal surpasses David Price‘s previous record of $19.75 million. Harper will now get a raise of exactly $7.5 million over his 2017 salary plus there is a $1 million bonus if Harper wins the NL MVP award and there are other incentives for Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger with a cap of $1 million in incentives. Harper reiterated that 2019 is “a ways away”, and Dusty Baker was pleased with the done deal for next year to keep Bryce comfortable, “And not only is he comfortable, he’s very comfortable.”
“We don’t have to worry about me going into arbitration,” Bryce Harper said. “Happy to get it done and out of the way. My relationship has grown with Rizzo every single year. I love the Lerners. I always say that. I always say I love playing here as well. Love walking into this clubhouse every single day and putting my Nationals uniform on.”
Tonight’s 7:05pm start time for the Nationals’ game is the third try to complete game #35 this season as the games on Thursday and Friday were both postponed. Weather.com shows thick clouds with temperatures in the 50°’s and a slight breeze. The good news is there should be no measurable precipitation.
Nationals vs. Phillies weather forecast: Cool and breezy, but drying out https://t.co/P6lZltSp06
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) May 13, 2017
The starters are the same as yesterday’s with Tanner Roark for the Washington Nationals and Nick Pivetta for the Phillies. The Nationals lit up Pivetta eight days ago for 3 home runs while knocking him out after 5.0 innings. Pivetta was drafted by the Nationals and then traded for Jonathan Papelbon in July of 2015.
Some other notes for tonight include Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover are both back on the roster as of yesterday, and A.J. Cole and Matt Grace were sent back to AAA. Rizzo will add back a reliever for tomorrow’s doubleheader as you can carry a 26th player.
Tonight and tomorrow the Nationals will be wearing pink trimmed uniforms and blinged out in other Mother’s Day equipment from cleats, bats, arm sleeves to batting gloves. Many of these items will be auctioned off for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure charities.
Tonight is also Pups in the Park night, and somewhere in the park is Jayson Werth‘s great dane Magnus.
Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, South Capitol St. SE, Washington, DC
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, Comcast Philadelphia, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® XM 186 Sirius 145 (Internet 869)
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Trea Turner SS
- Jayson Werth LF
- Bryce Harper RF
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Matt Wieters C
- Michael Taylor CF
- Tanner Roark