Harper to Phillies for 13 years, 330M, no opt-outs

DeadlySplitter

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BoSox Rule

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Wow. Guess he just wanted the overall total record. Not much for AAV these days and no chance at FA again.
 

cheekydave

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Now that the huge signings are done, color me stunned and relieved that the Yankees didnt get Machado or Arenado, and Harper, who would have hit 1 million HRS into that short porch. These are not your fathers Yankees...
 

DeadlySplitter

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Ken Rosenthal‏Verified account @Ken_Rosenthal 3m3 minutes ago
Source: “No opt outs. Harper didn’t want one.”

Jon Heyman‏Verified account @JonHeyman 6m6 minutes ago
No deferrals in 13 year, 330M Harper deal #phillies

Jeff Passan‏Verified account @JeffPassan 3m3 minutes ago
Bryce Harper’s deal with the Philadelphia Phillies includes a no-trade clause, league sources tell ESPN. Combine that with the 13-year, $330 million term, and this much is clear: Bryce Harper is committed to being a Philadelphia Phillie for the rest of his career.
 

Carmine Hose

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Apparently traded AAV for years and to never have to do FA again. Would've thought he'd have some leverage to get himself an opt out after 5 years. Would think Philly might want him to have it too.
 

DeadlySplitter

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who knows how true all the rumors were, but it seemed like the Giants were coming on strong and he wanted to be on the west coast. so the Phillies caved in eventually. By adding years they do keep the luxury tax implications down.
 

canderson

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Signing any human to a 13 year deal is just insanity.

But man Mookie is going to get paid.
 

ehaz

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I wonder if they go after Kimbrel now. They have the money, not an enormous cap hit.
 

Kliq

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It should be fun watching him hobble around right field at age 34 with a -30.0 UZR and $100 million still left on the deal.
Yeah, I don't really think a contract running more than 10 years is anything but a bad idea for teams today, although I understand why Philly did it. I think the juiced era kind of threw off how teams' expected guys to age, and that Bonds with a 1.422 OPS(!) in his age 39 season made some GMs believe that players in their late-30s can still be in their prime.

I'm not in love with Harper, he's hit under .250 in two out of the last three seasons and strikes out a lot. He's super talented and the potential for him to be a triple-crown guy is there, but that is a lot of money and a lot of years for a guy who isn't considered the best player in baseball.
 

InstaFace

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That is a great deal for the Phillies. He'll outproduce those financial terms in his prime more than enough to cover any hobbled shell-of-himself years on the back end of it.

I'm just glad he's not in the Bronx. I'm a much bigger believer in his peak talent levels than I am in Machado's. Career 139 OPS+, walk rates climbing, and not a lot of value tied up in remaining good defensively, vs career 121 OPS+ and better defense at the moment.

I'm not in love with Harper, he's hit under .250 in two out of the last three seasons and strikes out a lot. He's super talented and the potential for him to be a triple-crown guy is there, but that is a lot of money and a lot of years for a guy who isn't considered the best player in baseball.
I'd struggle to name 5 batters clearly and obviously better than he is. Trout, Betts... Lindor, okay... Jose Ramirez? Bregman? Would you prefer Judge to Harper? JDM? I think it's pretty close, and certainly worth locking him up on terms that say "one of the best batters in baseball", albeit not the absolute best. It won't take many seasons like 2015 or 2017 for him to be eminently worth his contract.

And that's a related point worth noting: Harper's streakiness, his alternating between being the best player in baseball (or very close to it) and slightly-above-average, helps his team's overall success rather than him being consistently well-above-average, because it concentrates his production into years where a few extra wins, plus a few weeks of brilliance in october, could push them to a title. I think when maximizing championship equity, you'd rather have the boom-and-bust profile than consistency, given the same long-term average production. So as long as you're not trying to wish away all the variance and proclaim him to be "Mike Trout who just got a few tough-luck injuries", I think he's definitely a top-10 batter in baseball and a huge asset to the Phillies now.
 
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Plympton91

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This is disappointing. Oh well. At almost 50 years old I should be used to baseball’s mercenary culture and rooting for laundry. Was hoping to have my 11 year old Nats/Harper fan not have to become jaded just yet though.
 

Max Power

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It's the same money and years as Stanton got and he's not the best player in baseball, either. Even $25 million per year is probably an overpay for Harper, but the Phillies can afford it.

It probably does increase the odds that they pick up Kimbrel. Spending money on a closer is dumb unless you're a lock for the playoffs (and even then it's kind of a fool's bet), but with Harper upgrading their terrible offensive outfield, they probably are.
 

dcmissle

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Joel Sherman is almost certainly right about $100 MM of the Nats offer being deferred money. That’s how the Nats roll, and Boras cannot lie about that because it would be too easily refuted.

So I do not want to hear from any fellow Nats fans that Bryce screwed the Nats or screwed himself. Just say the Nats made a reasonable offer and leave it at that.

I was so wrong about Bryce just using Philly. He is going into the fire.
 

findguapo

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saw on twitter:

When Bryce Harper gets his final paycheck from the Phillies in 2031, Bobby Bonilla will still be four years away from his final paycheck from the Mets.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Joel Sherman is almost certainly right about $100 MM of the Nats offer being deferred money. That’s how the Nats roll, and Boras cannot lie about that because it would be too easily refuted.

So I do not want to hear from any fellow Nats fans that Bryce screwed the Nats or screwed himself. Just say the Nats made a reasonable offer and leave it at that.

I was so wrong about Bryce just using Philly. He is going into the fire.
No, Bryce did not screw the Nats. The Nats cheaped out - that offer was lame, not really that reasonable. I'm surprised that they let him go to Philly, where they will have to face him 19x a year, and where's there's a real risk that he will put up big numbers and help propel the Phillies to the playoffs, perhaps at the Nats' expense.

Maybe I can sell my Harper jersey to the Phillies fan in the office next door - he can just change the curly W to a Philly P.
 

DrewDawg

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I'm not in love with Harper, he's hit under .250 in two out of the last three seasons and strikes out a lot. He's super talented and the potential for him to be a triple-crown guy is there, but that is a lot of money and a lot of years for a guy who isn't considered the best player in baseball.
He had OPS+ in those years of 114 and 133. And do strike outs matter?
 

Kliq

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That is a great deal for the Phillies. He'll outproduce those financial terms in his prime more than enough to cover any hobbled shell-of-himself years on the back end of it.

I'm just glad he's not in the Bronx. I'm a much bigger believer in his peak talent levels than I am in Machado's. Career 139 OPS+, walk rates climbing, and not a lot of value tied up in remaining good defensively, vs career 121 OPS+ and better defense at the moment.


I'd struggle to name 5 batters clearly and obviously better than he is. Trout, Betts... Lindor, okay... Jose Ramirez? Bregman? Would you prefer Judge to Harper? JDM? I think it's pretty close, and certainly worth locking him up on terms that say "one of the best batters in baseball", albeit not the absolute best. It won't take many seasons like 2015 or 2017 for him to be eminently worth his contract.

And that's a related point worth noting: Harper's streakiness, his alternating between being the best player in baseball (or very close to it) and slightly-above-average, helps his team's overall success rather than him being consistently well-above-average, because it concentrates his production into years where a few extra wins, plus a few weeks of brilliance in october, could push them to a title. I think when maximizing championship equity, you'd rather have the boom-and-bust profile than consistency, given the same long-term average production. So as long as you're not trying to wish away all the variance and proclaim him to be "Mike Trout who just got a few tough-luck injuries", I think he's definitely a top-10 batter in baseball and a huge asset to the Phillies now.
I suppose it comes down to philosophy; sure Harper can get hot for a month and carry a team (what elite hitter can't do that, though?) but he can also hurt your season when he is under-producing but getting paid like a top guy. He doesn't just go into slumps, based on his track record he delivers completely disappointing seasons.

Theoretically, a record-breaking deal of that length should go to the best player in baseball. Harper isn't in that conversation. He's a very good, All-Star-level player that can get scorching hot, but the track record of deals that are for 10+ years in baseball isn't great, and that is with guys like A-Rod and Pujols, who were better players, getting those deals. He's missed the Top 20 in MVP voting in two of the last three seasons.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I'd struggle to name 5 batters clearly and obviously better than he is. Trout, Betts... Lindor, okay... Jose Ramirez? Bregman? Would you prefer Judge to Harper? JDM?
Votto and Goldschmitt, for two.
And while I'm not certain his body will hold up, yeah, I'd prefer the next 13 years of Judge.

[Edit: unless, reasonably, I was supposed to put age into the equation WRT Votto/Goldy]
 
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DeadlySplitter

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This contract reflects a tremendous aversion to performance risk by Bryce.

Remember those Boras comments about Bryce transitioning to first base.
Joel Sherman‏Verified account @Joelsherman1 1h1 hour ago
Spoke to Boras, who told me: “We had average values of $45M offered on shorter term deals. We had a full buffet.” Said length, commitment now and in future offered by ownership, plus ballpark turned Harper to the #Phillies

I also heard rumblings that Harper really cares about getting into the HOF/legacy, and many more games in Citizens Bank Park as opposed to Dodger Stadium or AT&T Park was a factor (which is funny to me because there are adjusted stats for home park now....)
 

YTF

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That is a great deal for the Phillies. He'll outproduce those financial terms in his prime more than enough to cover any hobbled shell-of-himself years on the back end of it.

I'm just glad he's not in the Bronx. I'm a much bigger believer in his peak talent levels than I am in Machado's. Career 139 OPS+, walk rates climbing, and not a lot of value tied up in remaining good defensively, vs career 121 OPS+ and better defense at the moment.


I'd struggle to name 5 batters clearly and obviously better than he is. Trout, Betts... Lindor, okay... Jose Ramirez? Bregman? Would you prefer Judge to Harper? JDM? I think it's pretty close, and certainly worth locking him up on terms that say "one of the best batters in baseball", albeit not the absolute best. It won't take many seasons like 2015 or 2017 for him to be eminently worth his contract.

And that's a related point worth noting: Harper's streakiness, his alternating between being the best player in baseball (or very close to it) and slightly-above-average, helps his team's overall success rather than him being consistently well-above-average, because it concentrates his production into years where a few extra wins, plus a few weeks of brilliance in october, could push them to a title. I think when maximizing championship equity, you'd rather have the boom-and-bust profile than consistency, given the same long-term average production. So as long as you're not trying to wish away all the variance and proclaim him to be "Mike Trout who just got a few tough-luck injuries", I think he's definitely a top-10 batter in baseball and a huge asset to the Phillies now.
History hasn't been kind when you look at this sort of long term deal, granted it is a SSS. It's a huge risk for any team signing this sort of deal, but this contract could handcuff them in fairly short order. They made this huge commitment to Harper, so now how much do you have to spend in the not to distant future to try retain some of the good young talent that they have while trying to win a championship? I mean you don't make this sort of commitment unless winning it all is the goal, yes? Seven years into this contract he'll be 33 years old with six years remaining. Not terribly old in years, but I seriously wonder how his body will hold out given the fact that in his first seven seasons through age 26 he played in just 118 games in 2013, 100 in 2014 and 111 in 2017. The NL adapting the DH will sure help, but we're not certain exactly when that's going to happen.
 

ehaz

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That is a great deal for the Phillies. He'll outproduce those financial terms in his prime more than enough to cover any hobbled shell-of-himself years on the back end of it.

I'm just glad he's not in the Bronx. I'm a much bigger believer in his peak talent levels than I am in Machado's. Career 139 OPS+, walk rates climbing, and not a lot of value tied up in remaining good defensively, vs career 121 OPS+ and better defense at the moment.


I'd struggle to name 5 batters clearly and obviously better than he is. Trout, Betts... Lindor, okay... Jose Ramirez? Bregman? Would you prefer Judge to Harper? JDM? I think it's pretty close, and certainly worth locking him up on terms that say "one of the best batters in baseball", albeit not the absolute best. It won't take many seasons like 2015 or 2017 for him to be eminently worth his contract.

And that's a related point worth noting: Harper's streakiness, his alternating between being the best player in baseball (or very close to it) and slightly-above-average, helps his team's overall success rather than him being consistently well-above-average, because it concentrates his production into years where a few extra wins, plus a few weeks of brilliance in october, could push them to a title. I think when maximizing championship equity, you'd rather have the boom-and-bust profile than consistency, given the same long-term average production. So as long as you're not trying to wish away all the variance and proclaim him to be "Mike Trout who just got a few tough-luck injuries", I think he's definitely a top-10 batter in baseball and a huge asset to the Phillies now.
I don't think Judge vs. Harper is particularly close given Harper's inconsistency and glove work. Trout, Betts, Lindor, Ramirez, Judge. Arguments can be made for Arenado, Bregman, and Seager based on position. Also Correa if he repeats his 2017 line after recovering from injury.
 

jon abbey

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Wait--$45m AAV? 2/$90M? 3/$135M?
Yeah, people have been talking about this enough that I think it was probably was a potential reality. I think some owners see Harper as a box office draw, hence that kind of interest.
 

terrynever

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Philly is a great baseball city. Average attendance last year was 26,644 in a 43,000-seat stadium. Harper’s first few years salary will easily be covered by increased attendance revenue.
 

radsoxfan

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Obviously a mammoth contract still but surprised these were the final terms.

I think you can argue Machado did better, I’d rather have that contract to be honest. Though I also put a decent amount of value on the opt out.


Kind of insane if Harper actually didn’t want one (did Phillies hold firm there?). What’s the downside, you have to answer a few more media questions in 5 or 6 years?
 

AlNipper49

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With a 13 year deal with no opt out and a no trade does this make Harper’s next season’s jersey the ‘safest’ jersey to ever buy from a value standpoint?

That’s 13 years of near-guaranteed wear
 

jose melendez

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Philly is a great baseball city. Average attendance last year was 26,644 in a 43,000-seat stadium. Harper’s first few years salary will easily be covered by increased attendance revenue.
It’s not a good city to underperform in. He better be more consistent
 

Kliq

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Philly is a great baseball city. Average attendance last year was 26,644 in a 43,000-seat stadium. Harper’s first few years salary will easily be covered by increased attendance revenue.
I'm not worried about Philly being able to afford the salary, but 55 percent capacity for a huge market team that was in the playoff hunt for most of the season with a fun, young core would tell me that Philadelphis is NOT a particularly great baseball city. Or at least not anymore.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Bryce Harper last 3 seasons (2019 will be his age 26 season): .267/.391/.505/.897 with a 133 OPS+. On a 162 game basis, he averages 34 hr, 28 doubles, 1 triple


Over that same time span:

Mike Trout: .312/.447/.598/1.046 with 185 OPS+. Per 162 averages of 40 hr, 32 doubles, 4 triples

Mookie Betts: .308/.379/.538/.917 with 140 OPS+. Per 162 game averages of 32 hr, 49 doubles, 5 triples

Joey Votto (35): .311/.436/.519/.955 with 152 OPS+. Per 162 game averages of 27 hr, 34 doubles, 2 triples

Christian Yelich (27): .302/.382/.505/.887 with 139 OPS+. 162 game averages of 27 hr, 39 doubles, 5 triples

J.D. Martinez (31): .315/.385/.617/1.003 with 162 OPS+. 162 game averages of 46 hr, 41 doubles, 3 triples

Alex Bregman (25): .282/.366/.500/.866 with 137 OPS+. 162 game averages of 27 hr, 47 doubles, 5 triples

Jose Altuve (29): .334/.398/.512/.910 with 150 OPS+. 162 game averages of 22 hr, 40 doubles, 4 triples

Paul Goldschmidt (31): .295/.401/.528/.929 with 138 OPS+. 162 game averages of 32 hr, 36 doubles, 4 triples

Jose Ramirez (26): .300/.375/.533/.908 with 136 OPS+. 162 game averages of 28 hr, 50 doubles, 5 triples

Francisco Lindor (25): .283/.349/.488/.837 with 118 OPS+. 162 game averages of 30 hr, 40 doubles, 4 triples

Freddie Freeman (29): .306/.396/.549/.946 with 150 OPS+. 162 game averages of 32 hr, 46 doubles, 5 triples

Aaron Judge (27): .273/.398/.565/.963 with 153 OPS+. 162 game averages of 46 hr, 27 doubles, 2 triples

Giancarlo Stanton (29): .265/.351/.549/.900 with 140 OPS+. 162 game averages of 47 hr, 32 doubles, 1 triple

Nolan Arenado (28): .300/.370/.572/.942 with 131 OPS+. 162 game averages of 40 hr, 40 doubles, 6 triples

Manny Machado (26): .283/.340/.514/.855 with OPS+ of 128. 162 game averages of 37 hr, 37 doubles, 2 triples

Kris Bryant (27): .288/.391/.524/.915 with OPS+ of 138. 162 game averages of 33 hr, 41 doubles, 4 triples

Anthony Rizzo (29): .282/.384/.507/.892 with OPS+ of 132. 162 game averages of 31 hr, 27 doubles, 3 triples

This obviously cuts out Harpers MVP 2015, but seeing as that has so far been an outlier in his career and was 4 seasons ago, I don’t think that counts as cherry picking.

Harper has the fifth lowest OPS+ from this list, only ahead of Rizzo (133-132) and three incredible defensive players in Lindor, Machado, and Arenado (Machado incredible at 3rd, which is where he'll be in San Diego). Furthermore, Arenado beats Harper in every other stat listed with the exception of OBP, and Lindor’s OPS+ has gone from 106 to 116 to 131 over the past three seasons.

Harper has the second lowest average, only beating out Giancarlo by .002.

Harper has the fifth lowest OPS, ahead of only Bregman, Machado, Rizzo (by .005) and Lindor. Bregman’s OPS over past three seasons has gone from .791 to .827 to .926. Given his age and rapid improvement, it’s not unlikely that he will have a higher OPS than Harper for the next few seasons. Lindor’s has gone from .794 to .842 to .871. Still lower than Harpers by a considerable margin, so I don’t see him beating Harper in OPS over the next few seasons.

Harper averages 63 extra base hits per 162, tied with Joey Votto for the least from this list. J.D. average 90(!!!)

Per Fangraphs’ Offense, Harper was the 15th best offensive player in 2016, 13th in 2017, and 15th in 2018.

I think there is based on these stats a reasonable argument that Harper only barely cracks the top 15 hitters in baseball, and that doesn't take into account his defense, which Fangraphs has valued as a negative for every season since 2012.
 
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