The wait is finally over: Phillies have signed Bryce Harper
Harper hit .249/.393.496 with 34 home runs and in 159 games last season for the Nationals.
After months of stalling to get the deal he believes he deserves, it looks like Bryce Harper will be staying in the National League East for the foreseeable future, albeit with a different team. In the end, the true winner here is Scott Boras.
The Philadelphia Phillies have won the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, signing him to a 13-year, $330 million deal. This deal also includes a full no opt-out clause, securing his spot with the team until he turns 38. This surpasses Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million he received as a member of the Marlins as the biggest contract in baseball history.
While considered the front runners, the Phillies were not looking so good to start the week. The Dodgers were in the lead and the Phillies were looking to move on. Clearly, Phillies GM John Middleton was true to his word when saying he was not leaving the Harper’s alone unless he and Bryce came to an understanding.
Boras emphasized 3 areas why Harper went to #Phillies: 1. Length of deal to be in 1 place. 2. Middleton coming to Vegas twice to meet with family explain current and future commitment to be top-5 payroll team. 3. Ballpark gives chance for historic achievement (career .830 at CBP)
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 28, 2019
Since Manny Machado signed his ten-year, $300 million deal, it was expected Harper’s payday would be just about even or astronomically higher. Here is how the deal will go down: Harper will receive a $20 million signing bonus, $10 million this year, $26 the next nine seasons and $22 million for the rest of the deal.
In Harper, the Phillies gained one of the most prolific power hitters in the game. The 26-year-old hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs and 137 hits in 159 games this past season. Since starting with the Nationals in 2012, Harper has a career .279 average with 184 home runs, 922 hits and a .512 slugging percentage. A six-time All-Star, Harper was the NL MVP in 2015.
A key concern to have of the deal is the health of Harper. He has only managed two-150 game seasons in his career due to various injuries he has sustained. When healthy, however, he has the ability to dominate the entire league.
After over 100 days, the Phillies complete a key piece that highlight a successful offseason. They already added Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, David Robertson and J.T. Realmuto. Now, management secured the future of this team by holding onto Harper for the long run.
One possible #Phillies lineup with Bryce Harper. Lots of ways this can go, obviously:
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) February 28, 2019
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