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Harper has high hopes for new season

After enjoying offseason, Nats slugger has sights set on 100-RBI mark
MLB.com @ladsonbill24

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper said he had his best offseason since he broke into the Major Leagues in 2012. Yes, he did a lot of weight training, but he also spent a lot of time with his family.

Part of that family is his new wife, Kayla, whom Harper married in December. Kayla and the rest of the family, which includes his parents and in-laws, helped him forget about a tough season in which his WAR was just 1.6, according to Baseball Reference. The year before, he was the National League MVP Award winner after posting a 9.9 WAR.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper said he had his best offseason since he broke into the Major Leagues in 2012. Yes, he did a lot of weight training, but he also spent a lot of time with his family.

Part of that family is his new wife, Kayla, whom Harper married in December. Kayla and the rest of the family, which includes his parents and in-laws, helped him forget about a tough season in which his WAR was just 1.6, according to Baseball Reference. The year before, he was the National League MVP Award winner after posting a 9.9 WAR.

"We had a blast, being around the family," Harper said on MLB.com's "Newsmakers" podcast. "You could say that is probably my best offseason. It was a lot of fun. It was a blast at the wedding and the honeymoon as well.

"Just being able to be around [Kayla], being around my family -- they don't look at me as Bryce Harper the baseball player. It's just Bryce the normal person. They have been great with that."

Video: HOU@WSH: Harper doubles in Murphy to take early lead

Opening Day is a little more than a month away and Harper has a goal he would like to reach. He would like to drive in 100 runs for the first time in his career. Harper believes he can reach that milestone with Trea Turner and Adam Eaton in front of him.

"I have two guys at the top of the lineup that I could possibly drive in," Harper said. "If I'm doing that, we are hopefully scoring runs and winning ballgames. If we all have a great year, that means we are going to do some things that we never done."

Video: WSH@NYM: Harper launches a massive solo homer

Harper has two more seasons before he can become a free agent after the 2018 season. He doesn't like to look into the future, but he understands that Nats fans would like to see him long term in D.C.

"I like to stay what's in front of me and worry about what's going on today," Harper said. "I'm not really looking ahead two years down the road. That's like [over 300] games to go. So I'm worried about this season and next season as well. Playing well will take care of itself. I love playing in D.C. I enjoy the city of D.C., the people of D.C. I love the Lerner family and Mike Rizzo as well. ... I'm not going to look ahead or behind me. [I'm going to] live for today."

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002 and does a podcast, Newsmakers. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper