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MLB Roundup 1/1: Happy New Year!

Not much going on on this holiday.

MLB: NLDS-Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals might have one big advantage in retaining Bryce Harper

While we wait for this year’s free agent class to to start signing — at least on the top end — we are also looking ahead to next year’s class which could be among the best of all time. Bryce Harper is arguably the headliner, and it is assumed that he will be leaving Washington for whoever will give him the largest paycheck. Although that still could be true, sometimes it’s easy to forget that these players are humans and the biggest paycheck isn’t the only thing they are looking for, even if it’s very important. In this case, the Nationals may have a big advantage over other teams beyond the fact that this is where Harper has spent his entire career. You see, Washington has Bryce’s brother Bryan in their minor-league system and it looks likely that he’ll make his major-league debut in 2018. If they can keep him and carve out a role for him for the next few years, that could entice Bryce to stick around and get to spend a couple seasons with his brother. The Nationals would have to pair that opportunity with a huge contract, of course, but it’s something to watch for as we all hope Harper chooses Boston next winter.

Brian Dozier and the Twins haven’t discussed an extension

The Twins had a surprising year in 2017 and while they have a number of exciting young players, second baseman Brian Dozier remains the lynchpin of their offense. One of the best power-hitting middle infielders in baseball, Dozier’s contract runs out after this season and he will be part of next year’s huge free agent class. That is, unless he signs an extension. Minnesota hasn’t reached out on that front just yet, though, according to a report. Dozier will be 31 in 2018, so he’s not exactly one of the exciting, young free agents who will be available. However, he will be an enticing option for teams that need a second baseman if he does hit the free market, as he’s turned himself into one of the very best the keystone position has to offer. Who knows what will happen over the next calendar year, as there’s a slight chance Dustin Pedroia never recovers fully and the Red Sox look for a new second baseman. I’d be surprised if they ever ended up in the Dozier sweepstakes, but it’s not that far-fetched.