Six-time all-star Bryce Harper will be heading to the city of brotherly love after agreeing to a 13-year, $330 million deal.
The deal will include a full no-trade clause and no opt-out option. Harper does have the option to waive the no-trade clause; however, for now he is expected to be a Philadelphia Philly until age 36.
Harper is set to join a roster that already has slugging outfielders Rhys Hoskins, Andrew McCutchen, infielder Jean Segura and catcher J.T Realmuto. The Phillies have been very active this off-season as they have extended contracts to several key players including Aaron Nola and are expected to be favorites in the National league.
Although Harper has batted below .250 in two of his last three seasons, he has the game-changer ability that the Phillies have been looking for. Philadelphia has been lacking a powerful left-handed bat for some time now and now have one of the league’s premier hitters from that side of the plate.
As baseball fans have seen before, when Harper is healthy he has the ability to post huge numbers like he did in 2015. Harper’s 2015 season posted a career high in home runs (42) and batting average (.330).
The Phillies were reportedly interested in Manny Machado and Harper. Philadelphia did not believe the value for Machado was the same. In Harper’s recent down years, he has posted higher on-base percentages than the superstar infielder.
Just a week ago infielder Manny Machado had set the record for the largest free-agent contract in American sports history. Machado agreed to a 10-year $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres.
Harper now holds that record. Harper’s new deal has also surpassed Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year $325 million.
The Dodgers were reportedly making a last minute push to try and sign the 26-year old slugger to a short term deal earlier this week. The Phillies made sure they got their guy and paid Harper accordingly. The move is to no surprise of Phillies fans as they were expected to be the favorites to land Harper.
The question was not if, rather when Harper would be paid and it would be on the last day of February. The Phillies organization will be expecting to see new fans and more revenue because of the raw emotion and big play ability that Harper brings to the table.
Harper will join his team in Clearwater, Fla. for spring training and prepare for what Phillies fans hope is the beginning of a new dynasty and another World Series run.