Let's take it back to the 2010 MLB Season. 2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui and the New York Yankees came into the season defending their World Series title, Albert Pujols was rocking a Cardinals jersey and lead the NL with 42 home runs, Vladimir Guererro hit his 400th career home run and the Washington Nationals selected a 20-year-old then catcher from Las Vegas, Nevada with their first overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. That player? Bryce Harper.
It took Harper two years before officially being called up to the majors and the rest is history. In seven years with the Nationals, Harper was the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year and has been named to six All-Star games. He also won the 2015 NL Hank Aaron and MVP awards as well as being named a Silver Slugger in 2015.
With 181 home runs, 521 RBIs and a .279 career batting average under his belt, it is safe to say that Harper is one of the best players we have seen in quite some time. At 26-years-old, he is in the prime of his career and will no doubt make any team he signs for an automatic contender.
As the days of Spring Training begin and regular season getting closer by the week, it is safe to say that the Bryce Harper era in Washington is over.
Being in his prime and after seeing the San Diego Padres ink fellow high-end free agent Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million deal, there is no doubt Harper will be signing for that much and maybe even more.
No matter where he goes, the team will automatically be in contention for a playoff spot and with the skills he has shown in the previous seven years, he will be in the talks for the MVP award and most likely win if he keeps his play up from last year and stays healthy all season long. A deep playoff run would also help his case.