As numerous record-breaking deals were handed out to free agents this offseason, speculation quickly shifted to Bryce Harper's possible free agency after the 2018 season. More specifically, how much money could Harper, the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, potentially earn if he reaches free agency at the prime age of 26?
Harper gave his thoughts when asked about a potential $400 million contract on Friday, telling Washington D.C.'s 106.7 FM The Fan, "don't sell me short" on his next big contract.
"I don't really think about that stuff," Harper said during the interview. "I just try to play the years out and do everything I can to help my team win. But don't sell me short. That's what you're doing right now to me, so don't do that."
Harper established his place among the best players in baseball last season when he hit .330/.460/.649 with 42 homers and a 9.9 WAR. His combination of youth -- Harper is younger than reigning NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant -- skill -- as the youngest unanimous MVP in baseball history -- and the current revenue boost across baseball could make Harper one of the most intriguing free agents ever.
David Price and Zack Greinke signed contracts this offseason worth more than $30 million per season and were already at the age of 30. If Harper sustains his level of play from 2015 through the next few seasons, he is expected to shatter the contract of Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton -- whose 13-year, $325 million deal from November 2014 is the largest in American sports history.
"I'm looking forward to just playing this year, just looking forward to playing the next couple years," Harper said. "And I think all that stuff will play out."
Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.