Bryce Harper agrees to 13-year, $330 million contract with Phillies
At long last, the Bryce Harper saga is over. Despite appearing to lose ground in the Harper sweepstakes in recent days, the Philadelphia Phillies reached an agreement with the 26-year-old slugger on a 13-year, $330 million deal that includes a full no-trade clause and no opt-outs. The news was first reported by Jon Heyman of MLB Network, and is explained by Jeff Passan of ESPN below:
Bryce Harper’s deal with the Philadelphia Phillies includes a no-trade clause, league sources tell ESPN. Combine that with the 13-year, $330 million term, and this much is clear: Bryce Harper is committed to being a Philadelphia Phillie for the rest of his career.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 28, 2019
Most insiders believed that the Phillies and Harper’s representation–namely agent Scott Boras–were hung up on the exclusion of opt-outs in the deal. But after signing to this contract, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that opt-outs were not a consideration for Harper:
Source: “No opt outs. Harper didn’t want one.”
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 28, 2019
The $330 million Harper will receive breaks the record for the highest amount of total guaranteed money, which was previously held by Giancarlo Stanton at $325 million. However, the $25.4 million AAV is actually lower than the recent contracts signed by Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado with their respective clubs.
Still, the term of the deal as well as the lower AAV actually gives Philadelphia plenty of payroll flexibility moving forward, perhaps with an eye on making a run at Mike Trout when he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season.
Harper hit .249 with 34 homers and 100 RBIs last year, but was buoyed by a second half where he hit .300 with a .972 OPS after an extremely unlucky .226 BABIP in the first half.
He gives the Phillies the left-handed power bat they have desperately been craving, and should slot into the lineup nicely with Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto.