The Philadelphia Phillies have landed their big fish. On Thursday, the Phillies reportedly agreed to a 13-year (holy shit), $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.
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’s contract just exceeds Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million pact with the Miami Marlins as the largest in baseball history.
The contract also contains no deferred money, is reportedly front-loaded, and has a no-trade clause.
No deferrals in 13 year, 330M Harper deal #phillies
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 28, 2019
Harper's contract has no deferrals, no opt-outs, and is being described as "front-loaded." Harper did not want opt outs, I'm told. Preferred long-term stability.
— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) February 28, 2019
And a full no-trade clause https://t.co/1qFsSyP52y
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) February 28, 2019
The 26-year old Harper will be with the Phillies through the 2031 season. He slashed .249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs in 2018 with the Nationals, accumulating 30.7 fWAR during his seven years in the majors. Harper was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2012, the NL MVP in 2015, and has made six All-Star teams.
The deal isn’t without risk for the Phillies – after all, it’s a 13 year contract committing a third of a billion dollars to one player who has spent significant time on the DL in 2013, 2014, and 2017.
Harper now slides into an outfield that includes fellow free agent signee Andrew McCutchen and incumbent center fielder Odubel Herrera. His signing isn’t good news for Philly’s cadre of young outfield options, including Aaron Altherr, Dylan Cozens, Roman Quinn, and Nick Williams, who are all major league ready, but have nowhere to play and will likely be on the trade market this month.
Philadelphia’s lineup is now stupid deep, with Harper, McCutchen, and trade acquisitions JT Realmuto and Jean Segura joining Herrera, Rhys Hoskins, Maikel Franco, and Cesar Hernandez. That’s just amazing, and of that starting eight, two are lefties and one is a switch hitter. Yeah, that’ll work.
The Phillies are now the favorites in the NL East, and if the team gets off to a slow start, the pressure on polarizing manager Gabe Kapler will be ratcheted up even more. Adding Harper caps off an incredible offseason in Philadelphia, and when combined with the low-key offseason in Atlanta, you have to wonder if the balance of power has already shifted back to Philly in the NL East after it appeared just five months ago that the Braves were poised to begin a dynasty of their own.