WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a $13,625,000 contract for 2017, avoiding arbitration.

The sides reached a deal Friday, the day players and teams were to exchange arbitration figures ahead of hearings.

Harper made $5 million last season, when he struggled with injuries and took a big step back after becoming the youngest unanimous MVP in baseball history in 2015.

The slugging outfielder hit only .243 with 24 homers and 86 RBIs in 2016, significant drop-offs from the .330, 42 and 99 of a year earlier.

Still only 24, Harper is already a four-time All-Star and he was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2012.

The Nationals had three other arbitration-eligible players: catcher Derek Norris, third baseman Anthony Rendon and right-hander Tanner Roark.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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