WASHINGTON Nationals star Bryce Harper is reportedly in negotiations for a new long term deal asking for a record $US400 million ($A536 million).
Harper is a free agent from 2018, and as one of the most talented and recognisable names in Major League Baseball, will be a prime target for multiple teams seeking the big-hitting outfielder.
According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, a “high-ranking National executive” said Harper is seeking a contract spanning more than 10 years and “likely pay him in excess of $US400 million”.
However Harper’s agent Scott Boras dismissed the report, and could only confirm negotiations for a one-year deal for the 2017 season.
If the figure reportedly being sought by Harper is correct, it would make it the largest ever MLB contract. Miami Marlins home run machine Giancarlo Stanton holds the current record deal with his 13-year $US325 million contract extension signed in 2014.
Harper, 24, has had a meteoric rise in MLB since being drafted at no.1 by the Nationals in 2010.
In five seasons playing for Washington in the majors Harper has had four All-Star nods, won the National League MVP award (2015), the National League Rookie of the Year award (2012), the Silver Slugger award (2015) and was the National League home run leader (2015).
Two seasons ago Harper was in unbelievable form, smashing 42 home runs (scoring 118 total runs). But last season, though still very productive (24 home runs, 84 total runs), it was nowhere near as impressive as his 2015 efforts.
Still, following that breakout 2015 season, off the field, Harper’s marketability has made him a poster child for baseball, and helped him rake in record endorsements, such as the lucrative 10-year deal inked in May this year with Under Armour, believed to be the largest in MLB history.