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

EvilEmpire

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It’s not a good city to underperform in. He better be more consistent
It is a tough town. Maybe more about effort than outright results though. I think if Harper plays hard he'll be fine. He can't afford to slack in the field anymore, that's for sure.
 

jon abbey

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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.
Each case is different and I don’t really know the specifics but I know that generally in recent years there is a year or so delay between a new exciting team and increased attendance.
 

Plympton91

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I think it’s perfectly reasonable for a top 20 hitter in baseballl to get $25 million a year. The owners are vastly underpaying the players. Glad Harper was able to set the floor for when all those you listed come up in the next couple years.

That said, as a result of Bryce Harper and the Nationals, baseball just lost 3 young fans this winter. My oldest came home from school and said, “screw baseball. We’ll just watch college softball all spring instead.”

If the GMs want to ring on an era of rotisserie MLB, they’ll end up with a generation that has the same loyalty to the sport as I do to players in Draft Kings.
 

terrynever

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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.
You know, you might be right. The city totally favors the Eagles. Phillies are big when they contend but always are second to the Eagles. The gap between football and baseball is narrower in Boston.
 

Plympton91

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It is a tough town. Maybe more about effort than outright results though. I think if Harper plays hard he'll be fine. He can't afford to slack in the field anymore, that's for sure.
I was watching a bloooper reel of his play in the field last season and a lot of it just was bad jumps and bad routes. He looked like you’d expect a converted catcher to look out there. Maybe he should just switch to 1B. A $25 million AAV sn’t terrible for that position.
 

Ale Xander

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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.
Baseball may be the #4 sport there. Well, at least before the signing. That's a football city, through and through.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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I think it’s perfectly reasonable for a top 20 hitter in baseballl to get $25 million a year. The owners are vastly underpaying the players. Glad Harper was able to set the floor for when all those you listed come up in the next couple years.

That said, as a result of Bryce Harper and the Nationals, baseball lost 3 young fans this winter. My oldest came home from school and said, “screw baseball. We’ll just watch college softball all spring instead.”
I agree it’s reasonable I was arguing that he’s not a top five hitter, not that he wasn’t worth the contract. And I hope for your kids sake that Juan Soto continues to rake and can replace Harper as their favorite player. I was six and Nomar was my favorite player when he was traded from the Sox and I remember thinking I was going to hate baseball for the rest of my life
 

terrynever

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Baseball may be the #4 sport there. Well, at least before the signing. That's a football city, through and through.
Interesting. Flyers have been mediocre for too long. They are No. 4. With the excitement around the young 76ers, hoops is No. 2 until the team is eliminated.
Harper has a big challenge ahead of him. But this Phillies team got a lot better this winter even before Harper came aboard. Baseball could be No. 1 this summer into October.
 

YTF

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I was watching a bloooper reel of his play in the field last season and a lot of it just was bad jumps and bad routes. He looked like you’d expect a converted catcher to look out there. Maybe he should just switch to 1B. A $25 million AAV sn’t terrible for that position.
That would mean putting Rhys Hoskins back into the outfield. I say let the first baseman play first base and the outfielder play the outfield.
 

Ale Xander

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Morosi just tweeted LAD offered 4/180, FWIW.
PA has a state income tax rate of 3.07% (although this is a flat rate)

CA has a state income tax, top end, of 12.3%, but that allows for deductions.

Philly (or South Jersey) isn't the poorhouse, but still lower property values that the good parts of Socal.

I can see why Bryce took the Phillies offer.
 

santadevil

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PA has a state income tax rate of 3.07% (although this is a flat rate)

CA has a state income tax, top end, of 12.3%, but that allows for deductions.

Philly (or South Jersey) isn't the poorhouse, but still lower property values that the good parts of Socal.

I can see why Bryce took the Phillies offer.
As an accountant, I love when people bring up the taxes.

As a fan, I've never once heard a player based his decision on the tax aspect of where they play, so it's fairly annoying to see it posted on just about every major contract

There have been rumblings about guys that play in Canada and having exchange rate issues, but they're still paid in $USD
 

Pandarama

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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
Robbie Cano’s Mariners jersey seemed like a safe buy once.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I think it’s perfectly reasonable for a top 20 hitter in baseballl to get $25 million a year. The owners are vastly underpaying the players. Glad Harper was able to set the floor for when all those you listed come up in the next couple years.

That said, as a result of Bryce Harper and the Nationals, baseball just lost 3 young fans this winter. My oldest came home from school and said, “screw baseball. We’ll just watch college softball all spring instead.”

If the GMs want to ring on an era of rotisserie MLB, they’ll end up with a generation that has the same loyalty to the sport as I do to players in Draft Kings.
Not to sound like a dink, but I’m guessing your kids will get over it. We all had stars we have loved leave or get traded. Nomar, Bledsoe, Vaughn, etc. free agency is nothing new. We all root for laundry end of day.
 

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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.
You, of course, are an excellent role model and have only worked at one company for your entire career.
 

bosockboy

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Again, Bryce adverse to downstream performance/injury risk. And that’s probably the right assessment on his part.
To get his desired total of 300 mil over 10, he basically thinks that 6/120 won’t be there in 4 years. He took the largest pile of cash he could get.
 

ehaz

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If Dombrowski offered 13/330 to Mookie right now would he take it?
 

Spacemans Bong

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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.
Attendance always lags performance by at least a season and the Phillies have sucked for years. Any granular look at their attendance shows they averaged well over 30,000 while in first place this July and August. They led the NL in attendance three times in the 2010s, I truly doubt there has been some profound change in the way Philly fans view baseball.
 

glennhoffmania

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PA has a state income tax rate of 3.07% (although this is a flat rate)

CA has a state income tax, top end, of 12.3%, but that allows for deductions.

Philly (or South Jersey) isn't the poorhouse, but still lower property values that the good parts of Socal.

I can see why Bryce took the Phillies offer.
We've gone through this several times in the past. This isn't how it works at all.

Plus what Santa said.
 

singaporesoxfan

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As an accountant, I love when people bring up the taxes.

As a fan, I've never once heard a player based his decision on the tax aspect of where they play, so it's fairly annoying to see it posted on just about every major contract

There have been rumblings about guys that play in Canada and having exchange rate issues, but they're still paid in $USD
Yup. And the idea that property cost differences between Philly and LA would play any sort of role in the decision seems unlikely to me. High-end LA property is definitely much more expensive, but we’re talking about a guy making $25m a year. At those levels of wealth you’re simply not spending 30% of your annual salary on a mortgage or rent. If an apartment in Rittenhouse Square or a posh mansion on the Main Line saves him $5m compared to their LA equivalents how much is that really factoring into his decisions? Particularly if he can likely sell off said apartment or mansion at the end of his career for about however much he bought it for.
 

glennhoffmania

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Yup. And the idea that property cost differences between Philly and LA would play any sort of role in the decision seems unlikely to me. High-end LA property is definitely much more expensive, but we’re talking about a guy making $25m a year. At those levels of wealth you’re simply not spending 30% of your annual salary on a mortgage or rent. If an apartment in Rittenhouse Square or a posh mansion on the Main Line saves him $5m compared to their LA equivalents how much is that really factoring into his decisions? Particularly if he can likely sell off said apartment or mansion at the end of his career for about however much he bought it for.
Let's also keep in mind that these guys often don't live full time in the city in which they play, and in a lot of cases one of the primary motivations is to simply get the biggest contract for reasons other than monthly budgeting. I once had a conversation with a guy who was high up in the Sox organization (I posted about it at the time) and we discussed this issue. He said that Pedroia is rare in that he just wanted to stay in Boston, he got more money than he could ever spend, and he didn't care about setting the market. For a lot of guys setting the market is a big deal and it doesn't matter where they do it.
 

Adrian's Dome

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Let's also keep in mind that these guys often don't live full time in the city in which they play, and in a lot of cases one of the primary motivations is to simply get the biggest contract for reasons other than monthly budgeting. I once had a conversation with a guy who was high up in the Sox organization (I posted about it at the time) and we discussed this issue. He said that Pedroia is rare in that he just wanted to stay in Boston, he got more money than he could ever spend, and he didn't care about setting the market. For a lot of guys setting the market is a big deal and it doesn't matter where they do it.
I can't remember the EXACT exchange, but I remember Pedroia being interviewed and asked a question regarding his feelings on the Cano contract and his feelings toward it compared to his own and if he felt like he missed out on an opportunity for a bigger payday, and his reply was something along the lines of "are you serious? I'm rich as fuck".

I will forever love Pedey.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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

But man Mookie is going to get paid.
I would have to guess that from PHI's POV, the last three or so years was for cap purposes. It makes sense since they want to win soon to push the AAV down for cap purposes and worry about 2030 when that year arrives.
 

terrynever

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Attendance always lags performance by at least a season and the Phillies have sucked for years. Any granular look at their attendance shows they averaged well over 30,000 while in first place this July and August. They led the NL in attendance three times in the 2010s, I truly doubt there has been some profound change in the way Philly fans view baseball.
Phillies official said today they have sold 100,000 tickets since the Harper news broke.

https://www.philly.com/phillies/phillies-tickets-bryce-harper-signs-contract-20190301.html
 

dcmissle

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  • There are no guarantees. But he may be the best player this side of Trout, and you’re not getting him on a contract that gets you out of the Betts business around age 30 unless you’re willing to go north of 40 for AAV. So you’re probably looking at 5 for 225, and that’s assuming he’s willing to do a shorter term deal. So pick your poison. Unless you’re willing to let him walk.
The LaD offer to Bryce will reverberate.
 

dcmissle

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So you're going to ignore the fact that he isn't a FA for two years?
No, and I suppose if your strategy is win one more WS and tear down, that is fine.

But if that is not the strategy, one has to ask which of the players now with the team is worthy of a big investment.

The market has adjusted, but it’s only going to get more expensive with Betts. Machado and Harper were not “clean”; both had problems that diminished their value. Betts is superior to both.
 

glennhoffmania

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I'm sorry but saying that it'll take 5/225 to extend anyone who still has two years til FA sounds absurd to me.
 

jon abbey

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It's a higher class version of the problem NY had with Cano, they were screwed if they let him go and screwed if they signed him to a massive deal. The difference is that Betts is a lot more likely to live up to a 10/350 deal than Cano was to his 10/240 deal but that kind of commitment is scary no matter who it is.
 

glennhoffmania

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Sure but Cano was a free agent. The idea that it would take 45m per year to buy out 2 arb years and 3 FA years just doesn't make any sense to me. Maybe I'm completely wrong. I just can't imagine that would even be something to discuss.
 

dcmissle

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I'm sorry but saying that it'll take 5/225 to extend anyone who still has two years til FA sounds absurd to me.
Another poster wanted to avoid Betts’ 30s. If that’s your goal with a short term contract, that’s probably what it’s going to take. I don’t know why he would sell himself short. He is 2 years removed, but he is a better player than Harper.

I suppose Mookie may be extremely risk averse, and maybe the Sox can use that to their advantage. But Harper was extremely risk adverse. That’s why he took a haircut of $20 MM in AAV compared to the Dodgers offer ... 45 v 25.

And you basically have a year to get this done, less really. If we’re sitting here a year from now under the current contract, he is hitting free agency.
 

DanoooME

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I wonder if they go after Kimbrel now. They have the money, not an enormous cap hit.
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.
I do think their next move is Kimbrel, especially after saving on AAV.
They signed Robertson to close and they have a potentially sneaky good bullpen overall. On the other hand their rotation is Nola, Arrieta, Velazquez if he can stay healthy, and x, x. Keuchel makes so much more sense for them than Kimbrel.
 

Lowrielicious

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They signed Robertson to close and they have a potentially sneaky good bullpen overall. On the other hand their rotation is Nola, Arrieta, Velazquez if he can stay healthy, and x, x. Keuchel makes so much more sense for them than Kimbrel.
Pivetta is no slouch. FIP better than his not great ERA and will have improved defense behind him in Segura. They’re pretty solid all around really.
 

jon abbey

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Pivetta is no slouch. FIP better than his not great ERA and will have improved defense behind him in Segura. They’re pretty solid all around really.
I read a good runthrough on them post-Harper (probably on The Athletic?), they could use Keuchel but their big issue is team defense, and one of the main worries there is Harper in RF after his awful year last year. They traded Santana so they could move one terrible OF to 1B (Hoskins) but that doesn't help too much if Harper is just as bad, so they need him to get back to at least adequate.
 

axx

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Saw speculation that Harper was dogging it on defense last season to avoid injury before the big payday.
 

dcmissle

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Saw speculation that Harper was dogging it on defense last season to avoid injury before the big payday.
Saw it as well. Let’s assume he was dogging it on the basepaths as well.

If all that is true, then Scott Boras must have had a senior moment because his discussion of Harper’s ability to transition to first base was not at all helpful and viewed as confirming a meltdown in the outfield.
 

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Listening to his introductory press conference, it seems that the length of the contract was the most important thing to him and his wife. They both talked about starting a family soon and wanting a place where they can raise their kids. When he talked about his contract, Harper said, "this will take me to age 39" in a way that seemed to indicate that he doesn't see himself playing much past that age. They're both Mormon, and a beautiful new temple just opened up here a couple of years ago, and that might have played into it as well. But I bet if the Nats had gone to 13 years, he would have stayed there, because between the full no trade clause and the lack of opt outs in his contract, it's clear he and his wife just want to be in one place for the rest of his career, and that's exactly what Philly offered.
 

h8mfy

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What struck me is when he said (paraphrasing) that from the minute he was drafted he had been asked about where he’d play next and he really didn’t like that endless speculation. This contract eliminates that for a long while.
 

TheYaz67

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As an accountant, I love when people bring up the taxes.

As a fan, I've never once heard a player based his decision on the tax aspect of where they play, so it's fairly annoying to see it posted on just about every major contract

There have been rumblings about guys that play in Canada and having exchange rate issues, but they're still paid in $USD
Have seen several recent stories that pegged the state & local tax hit for Harper's $330M deal with the Phillies at about $17 million, while the tax hit on instead taking SF's offer of $310M would have resulted in state and local taxes of $28M. Given that after taxes (fed, state & local) and payment to his agent he will see less than $180M of that $330M, actually $11M seems like a "real" number that might as least factor into your decision.... For most other players though that get more "modest" contracts, yeah, the amount of their offers are not going to bring taxes much into play...
 

Plympton91

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How does the state and local tax work if you are released with 3 years remaining, and forcibly retired, move to Florida, and collect the end of your contract sipping beers in the marina at your mansion? Do you still pay taxes as if you were on the team and “working” in the state where your away games take place?