Rest easy Washington. Bryce Harper has signed with the Nationals. The Las Vegas phenom, whose achievements have become more like folklore than baseball scouting reports, has been tracked closely by the national media for more than a year. And as expected, Harper signed moments before the midnight deadline for a major league deal that guarantees him $9.9 million.
As he did right before the draft, Harper gave a few minutes to Baseball America to answer some questions.
BA: Are you glad it's all over?
Harper: I'm really thankful for everything I have right now. My family being around me, the support I've gotten from them. I'm thankful for the Nationals and what they've brought me. I'm just really excited to get out there playing and show everyone what I can do. I'm excited.
BA: Was the signing process stressful?
Harper: Not really. Actually it wasn't stressful at all. I spent my time at the beach a lot and you can't be stressed out on the beach. I spent a lot time with my family and in the gym just trying to get bigger and stronger. I'm just glad everything got done.
BA: What did you do all summer?
Harper: I didn't play at all. I took BP and kept my arm strength up and took some fly balls in the outfield. Just trying to get stronger and better in every aspect of my game. Like I said I spent a lot of time with my family. I spent a lot of time with my brother because he's at South Carolina now. That was the biggest thing for me this summer. Just trying to keep my mom's home-cooked meals in me because I'm gonna miss that a lot. I had a lot of fun at the beach.
BA: What's next? Are you headed to a league assignment?
Harper: I haven't really talked to them much about that. I won't go to a league at all. I'll go to instructs and they're talking about Arizona Fall League this fall. I'm just taking it by stride right now and see what they want to do. I'm going to Washington next week, getting all settled there, getting my jersey and things like that and meet with the team. I'll be hitting BP up there next week hopefully.
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