After months of speculation, rumors and visiting with teams, Bryce Harper is signing with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Bryce Harper is headed to the City of Brotherly Love after agreeing to a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. The former Washington Nationals outfielder was the big fish the team coveted all offseason and after fending off the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, they got their man.
Jon Heyman was the first to break the news of Harper signing with the Phillies for $330 million. This is the largest guarantee for a player in Major League history, breaking the previous mark set by Giancarlo Stanton who signed for $325 million with the Marlins.
ESPN’s Jess Passan reports the deal is for 13 years and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports the deal doesn’t include any opt-outs. Effectively, this means the 26-year-old Harper will play the rest of his career with the Phillies. Rosenthal also adds Harper has a full no-trade clause and there is no deferred money.
Harper is the exclamation mark on what has been a good offseason for the Phillies as they look to climb up the NL East standings. In addition to the signing of Harper, the Phillies have added another former NL MVP in Andrew McCutchen, traded for All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Jean Segura.
The addition of Harper instantly makes the Phillies the front-runners in the East and legitimate World Series contenders.
The left-handed hitting Harper will slot into right field and provides the power bat needed to complement Rhys Hoskins in the lineup. Harper owns a career .564 slugging percentage in Citizen’s Bank Ballpark, the best mark among hitters with at least 200 plate appearances.
Not only are the Phillies strengthening their lineup with Harper, but they’ve taken the best player off one of their toughest competitors. The Nationals reportedly offered Harper a 10-year contract worth $300 million before the offseason began.
A six-time All-Star, Harper hit .249 with 34 home runs, 100 RBI and 103 runs scored last year in a career-high 159 games.
Harper makes his return to D.C. on April 2-3. Think Harper will be greeted with a chorus of boos?
Phillies fans had to wait a little longer than they’d hoped to get Harper, but they got their man, and this is cause for a parade through the streets of Philly. But, the real measure of whether this signing is ultimately successful is whether there will be a championship parade with Harper leading the way.