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The Philadelphia Phillies have finally gotten their guy. After numerous meetings and over one hundred days on the free agent market, Bryce Harper has reportedly agreed to a contract with Philly according to multiple reports. The reported deal is worth $330M over 13 years with a full no-trade clause and no options on either side.
The 26-year-old phenom becomes the recipient of the largest contract in the history of not only Major League Baseball, but North American professional sports topping the whopping $325M deal handed out to Giancarlo Stanton as a member of the Miami Marlins. According to Ken Rosenthal, there are no opt-outs in the deal because “Harper didn’t want one” an apparent sign of good faith in such a massive long-term commitment.
Harper is already a six-time All-Star and entered the league in stride winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2012. Through his seven big league seasons, Harper has mashed 184 homers to go with a .279 career batting average and a .900 OPS. His best season came back in 2015 when he was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player hitting 42 home runs, driving in 99 slashing .330/.460/.649 with a whopping 1.109 OPS. He’s also very patient at the plate and often gets pitched around, leading to 585 career walks.
The patience paid off for agent Scott Boras who sung the praises of his client in getting him the largest contract in the history of the sport, “Because the player is entering the prime of his career, you’re really talking about a unique and rare opportunity. Anyone who’s done what Bryce Harper has done at 25, if you’ve done that, you’re almost a lock to be a Hall of Fame player.”
Sure Spring Training is already in session, but Harper took his time through this process to vet his options and get the best deal. We heard as recently as last night that the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared to have taken over as favorites and that the San Francisco Giants had a ten-year deal on the table, but in the end it was Philadelphia who landed the superstar outfielder.
The tremendous off-season for the Phillies has set them up to be perennial contenders not only in the N.L. East, but in the National League and get them back to being talked about as favorites to win it all. They now come into 2019 with Harper, Jean Seguara, J.T. Realmuto and Andrew McCutchen to add to a team that was already turning a corner with the likes of Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins, Jake Arrieta, Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera. Yeah, the Phillies are going to be good.
Bryce Harper may have waited until nearly March to finally sign a deal, but in the end it’s still the richest deal in the history of North American sports and Philly fans are jumping with joy in the streets, running up the steps to the Rocky statue while eating a cheese steak.