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If the Nationals want to extend Bryce Harper, all they have to do is ask

Thursday's Say Hey, Baseball includes Bryce Harper extension talk, the Mets' pair of moves and Mookie Betts: Professional Bowler.

Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Listen, we know it's tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn't easy. It's okay, though, we're going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.

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The expectation is that Bryce Harper will be a free agent for the 2018-2019 offseason. If you took a poll among people who cared enough to respond, they would tell you that Harper is a Scott Boras client with money to be made, and that money will be made as a free agent in three years' time. That's probably true! However, it doesn't have to be that way. Boras, at the winter meetings, stated that if the Nationals want to extend his client, Bryce Harper, then they need to be the ones to get that conversation started.

Now, Boras is in the business of making money, so he's not about to say publicly that the Nats have no chance* to keep Harper around. The truth of the matter, though, is that Boras wouldn't stop Harper from signing an extension with Washington. It would just have to be an extension that left Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million deal in the dust ... and probably include similar opt-outs, so Harper can bail to sign an even more lucrative deal in the future if the opportunity presented itself. Not that there's anything wrong with that: if the players aren't making this money, the owners are, and they already make plenty of it.

Think of how massive contracts look in baseball at the moment. Stanton has a $325 million deal. David Price signed a record seven-year, $217 million contract for a pitcher to only days later see that average annual value eclipsed by Zack Greinke's six-year, $206 million pact. Alex Rodriguez was the last free agent like Harper with this combination of youth and potential historic impact, and he signed a $252 million deal 15 years ago. It's going to take, what, $350 million to extend Harper, to push him away from testing the waters of free agency at a time when the Red Sox, Yankees and Dodgers should all have room to bid on him? $400 million?

Man, Harper is going to get paid, whether it's sooner or later.

*Scott Boras really should become a Mr. McMahon-like evil character at some point in his story, yeah?