The Washington Nationals and left fielder Bryce Harper will have a grievance hearing this month to settle whether Harper can opt out of his current deal and enter Major League Baseball’s arbitration system, reports Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
According to Rosenthal, the hearing will take place sometime this month in “advance of the annual exchange of arbitration figures in January.”
MLB rules stipulate that a player with three or more years of service, but less than six years, may file for salary arbitration.
The Nationals own Harper’s rights for the next four seasons and as a “Super Two” player, Harper can be eligible for arbitration with less than three years of service. Washington and Harper can avoid arbitration by agreeing to a long-term deal.
The 22-year-old, two-time All-Star will enter the final season of a five-year, $9.9 million deal, which included a $6.25 million signing bonus, that he signed in August 2010. Harper is scheduled to make $1 million next season and can also earn an extra $500,000 in roster bonuses.
The Washington Post reported last year that the two sides did not agree on a clause that would have allowed Harper to opt out of his deal if and when he became eligible for arbitration.
Harper, the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year award winner, completed his third season in Washington in 2014, hitting .273 with 13 home runs and 32 RBI in 100 games.
- Scooby Axson