Before Bryce Harper signed his massive 13-year contract with the Phillies, many in baseball felt that the Dodgers had a good chance to sign him. Rumors flew all around Los Angeles media about him being close to making a decision to play for Los Angeles, but he ultimately took a longer deal worth far more guaranteed money.
Harper talked about his decision to go to Philidelphia with Barstool Sports recently, including why he didn’t want to play in Los Angeles. Apparently, the Dodgers weren’t willing to commit as long as Philly was.
Then at the last second, the Dodgers came in with a four-year offer with a super high AAV with opt-outs. I got so tired of my whole career in DC even after my first year, all anyone talks about ‘is where is he going?’…When they came in with opt-outs, the Dodgers, I was like ‘I don’t want to do that because I just don’t want the opt-outs…I want these people knowing that I’m here. The good, the bad…
The Dodgers wanted to go very high on the annual average, rumored to be somewhere in the $40 million per year or more area. Harper ultimately took a deal with the Phillies that is valued at just over $25 million a year but also does not have any opt-outs. Harper made it clear that offering opt-outs, something his agent Scott Boras loves to do, was not want he wanted. He wanted to make it clear that he was there to stay, wherever he ended up playing.
Interestingly enough, Harper also talked about his experience with the Houston Astros, and that he almost took a deal with them. Harper said the Astros offered him a one-year deal with a ridiculously high annual average, which we can only guess must have been in the $50 million range, give or take. He obviously turned that down, which worked out great for his career.