The 2018 campaign is obviously a big season for the Nationals, a team built for the postseason, with outstanding starting pitching, timely hitting and stout defense.
But 2018 is also the final season Bryce Harper is under contract with the Nats. The club has been working to secure a long-term deal with one of the elite offensive stars in baseball.
One part of the scenario that might help in getting Harper to consider D.C. as his permanent baseball home is the status of his older brother, Bryan Harper.
Prior to his surgery, Bryan Harper had been rolling: With Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse, he pitched in 40 games, logging 45 1/3 innings, striking out 41, walking only 18, and going 3-2 with a 2.18 ERA and six saves. Against lefties at the Triple-A level, the southpaw had a 1.80 ERA.
The Harpers haven’t played on the same team since their days with the College of Southern Nevada eight seasons ago. Back then with the Coyotes, Bryan Harper would pitch to Bryce Harper, who was a catcher at that time. They also were teammates on their Las Vegas High School baseball team.
What better way to begin his second contract with the Nationals than possibly playing few seasons coming up with his brother on the same team?
Bryan Harper has shown he can get guys out and if he can come back from Tommy John stronger, as many pitchers do, it’s possible the left-hander could have a shot and making it to the majors with his little brother’s club in 2018
Could the prospect of Bryce Harper playing the next few seasons at the major league level alongside his brother play a part in the All-Star right fielder signing an extension with the Nats?
You have to feel it couldn’t hurt. That would be a special moment this season, a bucket list moment for the Harpers, to see them on the same field, wearing Nationals jerseys in a major league game.