​While everyone keeps their eyes fixed on Miami and Giancarlo Stanton, the Nationals may be secretly taking care of business with their franchise slugger. 

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that Nats GM Mike Rizzo will sit down with Harper and his agent and begin discussing possible avenues for a long-term extension before their best franchise player becomes a free agent after the 2018 campaign. 

​​2018 will be a whopper of a year for contracts. 

Harper and Manny Machado are expected to be the biggest stars of the free agent pool next year and could both sign contracts north of $400 million...good Lord.

An interesting note is that Harper's agent, Scott Boras, has been known to let the market decide a player's value, but the Nationals look like they don't want to let things get that far.

Steven Strasburg is another client of Boras and the Nats were able to sign the All-Star hurler to a seven-year $175 million extension, eliminating his free agency in May 2016, so it's not impossible to see Harper extended before 2018 free agency begins. 

Someone explain to me how next year's hot stove is already heating up? I guess a $400+ million contract can take a little time to boil.