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NL Notes: Harper set for unprecedented ‘18 offseason

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper might be the best player the game has to offer. However, as he readies for a potential contract extension, it’s not too early to look forward to the 2018 offseason, when Harper will be poised to become the highest-paid player in the history of Major League Baseball.

Harper is having another monster year at the dish, adding to an array of accomplishments and accolades that seems to grow every season. Oh, and he’s only 24. Put that all together, and the perfect storm is in place for an unprecedented contract extension. However, don’t rest assured that Harper is stuck in D.C. The Yankees remain the most visible suitor for the stud.

Here’s what else is happening around the National League:

Charlie Blackmon has been excellent for the Rockies thus far, thriving in the leadoff spot. In fact, Rockies manager Bud Black took that concept one step further, claiming that Blackmon is the best leadoff man in the National League. With Blackmon’s consistent hitting and potent power, Black might just be right. With his team in first in the NL West, he clearly knows a thing or two.

The Braves have had a bit of a bounce-back year so far, but their latest injury is seriously going to set them back. Freddie Freeman is expected to miss 8-10 weeks with a broken wrist. Freeman suffered the injury on May 17, when he was hit by a pitch versus the Blue Jays. With Freeman out, the Braves’ projected offensive output goes down, but the injury represents a chance for some young prospects to get a chance to move forward.

Could Mets executive Jeff Wilpon be dictating the Mets’ decisions regarding injuries? It doesn’t seem out of the question— check out this report to see if Wilpon is out of his depth.

In quite surprising fashion, the Milwaukee Brewers are alone in first in the NL Central. They’ve gotten it done at the plate, with guys like Eric Thames using the fences as targets. Miller Park always bodes well for hitters, so don’t be shocked if this squad stays on top through the All-Star Break.