The Harper free agency saga is finally over.
This afternoon, star outfielder Bryce Harper agreed to a 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
The details of this deal are nothing short of insanity. Not only did Harper top Zack Greinke’s mega-deal, in terms of total value, but the pact is for thirteen years. This contract is one of only three in the history of Major League Baseball to cover more than ten years.
Harper is under contract with the Phillies until his age 39 season and should be with the Phillies for life considering the deal contains no opt-outs and a full no trade clause.
Boras: “The goal was to get the longest contract possible. Bryce wanted 1 city for the rest of his career. That is what I was instructed to do. It is very difficult in this time to get length of contract that takes a player to age 37, 38, 39.” #Phillies
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 28, 2019
It seemed like the Dodgers were in on Harper at the late stages of the derby, but it always seemed like Philadelphia was the front-runner.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 28, 2019
However, they weren’t. The Dodgers appear to have never made a formal offer to Harper.
On Bryce Harper Andrew Friedman said “we never say never to anything.” Wouldn’t handicap #Dodgers chances of signing the slugger.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) February 28, 2019
Andrew Friedman was cryptic regarding this process, as expected.
Effect on Baseball
Obviously, deals like this affect the markets of future stars and free agency as a whole. Just as Harper successfully toppled Greinke’s ‘unprecedented’ deal, someone will successfully topple Harper’s.
Initially, free agency seemed to be broken considering four of the biggest free agents had yet to sign deals well into mid-February. However, now that Harper has signed, in addition to Manny Machado, we now know that free agency is not ‘broken’ at all. Harper and Machado both took home mega-deals which they deserved.
They got paid.
What do you think of this deal? Should LA have pulled the trigger or were they right in staying put?
Let us know in the comments!