March 01, 2019
Despite the crappy weather outside, Friday is unquestionably a sunny day in Philadelphia. After nearly four months of torture in which fans emotions were thrown from one extreme to another — don't forget, people were ripping Bryce Harper for snubbing Philly right up until he signed — the Phillies finally got their man. They did so at a lesser cost than many expected, at least in terms of annual average value (AAV).
And that wasn't because they were being cheap. If anything, it's an indication that they plan on spending more in the not-so-distant future.
Because the Phillies and Harper spread the deal out over 13 years, they're getting the perennial All-Star at quite a reasonable price.
Contract breakdown for Bryce Harper's deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, sources tell ESPN:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 1, 2019
2019: $10M (plus $20M signing bonus)
In fact, Harper's not even going to rank among the 10 most expensive players in baseball this season, and that number will only drop each year as bigger and bigger contracts are being signed. Like, for example, that of Mike Trout, who will likely reset the entire market when he hits free agency in the summer of 2021.
By keeping Harper's price that reasonable throughout the contract, it leaves them open to signing more big-name free agents, something that was part of the negotiations, and part of the reason Harper wanted to be locked in to one team.
The lack of an opt-out clause in Bryce Harper's deal was a surprise, and yes: He got a record $330M because of its exclusion. But Harper was clear: He wants to recruit players to join him in Philly, and saying he controls his ability to stay there for 13 years is quite powerful.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 1, 2019
Now, this is where it gets really interesting.
At least one MLB insider, Jim Bowden of The Athletic, believes that Harper will go a long way toward recruiting Trout to play for the Phillies, the team Trout grew up rooting for. So much so, that he made a bold prediction on MLB Network Radio.
Yes, he really just said all those things.
And if you're having a tough time believing Harper would immediately start recruiting players to Philly, you might want to take a look at this. Harper hasn't even had his introductory press conference yet, and he's already recruiting Le'Veon Bell to join the Eagles.
Or, maybe he knows he can't actively recruit Trout while he's still under contract, so he's decided to do the next best thing and lobby on behalf of Trout's favorite team.
Either way, Harper is all-in on Philly...
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