To use a hackneyed phrase, Bryce Harper would like the Washington Nationals to “show him the money.” According to SI’s Jon Heyman, Harper and super agent Scott Boras will looking to break last year’s record $15.67 million bonus set by the Nationals' very own Stephen Strasburg.
As Heyman is quick to point out, the $15.67 million given to Strasburg was only a fraction of the total cost that Boras was rumored to be demanding. To quote Heyman:
Of course, at this time last year, the scuttlebutt was that Strasburg might seek to receive a bonus in line with the $51-million posting the Red Sox paid for Daisuke Matsuzaka. And while Boras was believed to have drawn a comparison between Strasburg and Matsuzaka in talks with the Nationals, ultimately Strasburg signed with the Nationals for an amount that was slightly less than a third of what the Red Sox paid for the right to sign Matsuzaka (though still about 50 percent more than the previous record bonus of $10 million for drafted players that Mark Prior and Mark Teixeira got).
The question remains as to whether the Nationals will be willing to break the bank for two years in a row to sign Harper. The Nationals have failed to sign first round picks to contracts before, most notably their 2008 selection of Aaron Crow. Further, will the Nationals feel pressure from other organizations to stop raising the bar in regards to escalating bonus costs? It is certainly interesting times around Nationals Park.