The news that Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals have already agreed upon his contract for the final year before he can be a Free Agent is definitely interesting but it doesn't rule out Free Agency after 2018. Harper and the Nationals will avoid arbitration next year by agreeing to $21,625,000 one year deal for 2018.

Let's think this through. This is a fair deal for next year and could actually save the Nationals money next year. With the way Harper is playing he may have won Arbitration and got over $30 million. This could also be an attempt to clear up old business and begin talks on a long term deal while the Nationals are the only team that  can negotiate with him.

Now let's talk about the potential of Bryce Harper still testing Free Agency. This is still nothing more than a one year deal for a year where he couldn't leave anyway. Why not get the deal done, clear your mind and put up the best year you can and cash in HUGE. The Yankees and the Phillies will break the bank to bring him in.

My point I guess is this really changes nothing. The Nationals already had his rights and now know what he'll cost. IF they can get a deal done they will but if Harper decides to go to the open market it's on and we'll finally see just how much the boys can channel their inner George Steinbrenner.