Harper to the Phillies
Following the news of Manny Machado’s major deal with the San Diego Padres, we see another face of Major League Baseball in Bryce Harper signing to be become a Philly for 13 years and to receive a total salary of $330 million. Receiving $25.38 million per year for 13 years is one hell of a contract. Could you imagine signing a contract for a new job and getting $20 mil just for signing your name? Yeah, you’re talented.
Harper’s contract does not include opt-out clauses or option years but it does give the former NL MVP full no-trade protection. Also, for each accolade he earns he gets a $50,000 bonus and if he brings a World Series to Philadelphia, he gets a nice check for $100,000. He’d even get $500,000 is he gets league MVP. Plenty of incentives for Harper to take his talents to the city of Brotherly Love.
I’m a big fan of Bill James and while some contracts for big-name players seem absolutely ludicrous (get out da way), I can understand the value the Phillies believe Harper will bring to their clubhouse. With his powerful swing and howitzer for an arm on top of his tenacity on the field, he’s a great investment for a team attempting to build and revitalize a franchise.
Every team needs to have guys to build around. The Cubs did it with Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. The Red Sox did it with David Ortiz and the powerhouse teams they’ve had since 2004. The Dodgers had their post-season destined teams based off of Kershaw, Machado, and Justin Turner. Philadelphia wants to bring their team back to prominence starting with one player that is sure to make other players excited about joining the roster. In order to get the Phillies bullpens and fielding positions stocked with all-stars, they need confidence that the team is going places and has chances of winning a ring.
One thing this contract puts on the table is Harper’s commitment to wanting to be on one team. With so many players moving team to team each year, Harper wants to plant some roots and even though he’s moving from Washington, he’s showing he intended to stay with his next team and build loyalty. We will get to see Bryce Harper in Phillies uniform this season and watch him due damage. We will also get to see how this team gets built up and what type of impact he’s going to have on the franchise.