February 28, 2019
Some of you never thought this day would come.
Some of you knew this would happen all along.
Regardless of your level of faith in the Phillies' front office throughout the ridiculously long free agency process, Philadelphia is at the center of the baseball world again today, for the first time since Roy Halladay was throwing no-hitters.
Bryce Aron Max Harper, according to several sources including Jon Heyman and Jeff Passan, will be joining the Phillies.
Free agent outfielder Bryce Harper is finalizing an agreement on a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, league sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 28, 2019
The deal is worth $330 million, with details still being confirmed by reporters. The deal is for 13 years, giving him a smaller average annual value than expected (just over $25 million per season). The full dollar amount is just $5 million more than Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million deal, making it — just barely — the biggest deal in baseball history.
The deal contains no opt-outs, meaning Harper will be in red pinstripes until he is 38 years old. He seems committed to the city, as the deal contains a full no-trade clause as well.
Bryce Harper’s deal with the Phillies will be for 13 years and $330M, league sources tell ESPN. It will not include any opt-outs.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 28, 2019
Harper will man right field at Citizens Bank Park and bat somewhere in the heart of the batting order. He joins Andrew McCutchen and David Robertson as the third high profile signee to the city. The team will no doubt become one of, if not the favorite to win the NL East by adding the six-time All-Star.
The 2012 NL rookie of the year and 2015 NL MVP is 26 and in his prime, despite coming off of a down year offensively in Washington. Here's a look at his career numbers as he heads to hitter-friendly South Philly:
Though seemingly inconsistent, Harper has shown he can do it all with the bat. He also makes pitchers throw pitches. He currently sits in 117th all time (relatively very good amongst thousands of MLB players) in on base percentage at .388. He's also at 78th all time in slugging percentage and averages 32 doubles a season.
Having spent perhaps some "stupid money," as promised, it is unclear whether more is to come before the Phils finish building their 2019 roster. They remain well under the luxury tax threshold and could add to their already intimidating squad — or feel content that they may have the most improved team in all of baseball.
One thing is sure, a new era has begun for Phillies baseball.
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