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American League GM: “[Bryce Harper] is going to get paid. Like, paid paid.”


Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper won’t become a free agent until after the 2018 season, but his free agency is still one of the most talked about subjects and has been ever since he unanimously won the 2015 National League Most Valuable Player Award. In terms of length, total value, and average annual value, Giancarlo Stanton (13 years, $325 million) and Zack Greinke ($34.42 million) represent the biggest contracts in baseball. Many think Harper will blast past those figures after next season.

ESPN’s Eddie Matz spoke to some front office personnel around baseball. One American League GM, quoted anonymously, said, “He is going to get paid. Like, paid paid.” The GM also said, “Four hundred million is light. It’s going to be more than that. If you could sign him to a 15-year contract, you do it. I would say something in the range of $35 million a year, maybe closer to the high 30s. It could approach 40 million dollars a year.”

Harper appeared to hurt his future earnings with a relatively disappointing campaign in 2016. He posted numbers that would be great for most other hitters, but not for him. He hit .243/.373/.441 with 24 home runs, 86 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 627 plate appearances. But that was after leading the majors in on-base percentage (.460), slugging percentage (.649), and OPS (1.109) and leading the National League in runs scored (118) and home runs (42) in 2015. This year, he’s back to his MVP-level self, entering Monday’s action batting .324/.441/.648 with 15 home runs, 43 RBI, and 46 runs scored in 213 plate appearances. Barring another dip next year, he’s still set up to potentially become baseball’s first half-billion man. Or, as that anonymous AL GM so eloquently put it, to, “Get paid. Like, paid paid.”

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.