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Harper plays hardball in opening press conference of spring training

Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals.
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – In his first press conference of spring training, two days before his Washington Nationals team practices as a full-squad for the first time, star outfielder Bryce Harper made it clear he is focused on the future – the immediate future.

“I will not be discussing anything relative to 2019 at all,” Harper insisted during an opening statement to reporters. “I’m focused on this year, focused on winning and playing hard like every single year.”

Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals.
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Harper, one of baseball’s brightest young stars, is a free agent-to-be after the 2018 season. Many speculate he will opt to leave the Nationals for a massive payday from one of baseball’s blue bloods like the Dodgers, Yankees or Cubs.

“If you guys have any questions about anything after 2018, you can call [agent Scott Boras] and he can answer to you guys,” the 2015 National League MVP explained. “I’m not going to answer any questions. If you guys do talk anything about that, I’ll be walking right out the door.”

Harper, who will become an unrestricted free agent following the 2018 season, is scheduled to make more than $21 million in 2018.