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What does Bryce Harper's Big New Contract Spell for the Phillies?

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    It's a huge moment for the Phillies. Bryce Harper finalized a 13 yr deal with them for $330 million, which set a record for total value in MLB, NBA,NFL, and NHL history. With Manny-Machado's contract coming in at a close second at $300 million, for 10 years with the Padres. I found a pretty decent article on the subject. This could be big for a team such as the Phillies.

    A little about this guy. I'm not the first, nor the last to say this, but he isn't your average ball player. He's truly an all-star player. He was the first overall pick in the draft at 17, and had reached the majors, and the All-Star team by 19. Won an MVP award at 22, which went without saying that we was the most sought-after free agent in history at 26. Now, he's looking to make huge bucks playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, possibly until he's 39.

    So what does this mean for the Phillies? This heavy hitter could seriously beef up the Phillies' offense. There certainly is a chance for more wins in a season, and dare I say, a spot in the playoffs, now that he is on the team. It's a decently strong possibility when you look at his stats. One good example, in 2015 he was the best hitter in baseball, batting 330/460/649, with 42 home runs and 124 walks. Like the article says:

    That 10.0-WAR season ranks as the best by a National League position player since Barry Bonds.

    Even if Harper could bolster the Phillies offense, many would argue they have the worst defense, and not to mention Harper had a bad defensive season in 2018, and his strike out rate has increased recently from 19.6 to 24.3 percent. Harper fans argue that he's just swinging for the fences more often than he used to - homer happy.

    Harper joining the club will most certainly be a make or break for the Phillies. I see it going either way. I certainly don't think it will fail to cause waves one way or another.

    I think the article ends it well:

    Before the signing, FanGraphs projected the Phillies' record to be 80-82. The projection of Harper as a 4.9-WAR player would be about a four-win upgrade for Philadelphia. Of course, we've seen Harper play at a much higher level. If that happens, even for just a few seasons at the beginning of the contract, the upgrade will be even greater -- and nobody will question if the money was worth it.

    What does everyone else think? Was this a good investment for the team, or will it be one of the most expensive blunders in sports contract history?

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    I'm all for it. Talked about Machado's shiny new contract in another thread and I was torn on that one. But Bryce Harper is a far more special player. 13 years is a little crazy. But I imagine there are opt-out clauses built in so they can start to figure it out around year 5-8 and maybe rework it or trade or whatever. Or best case, Harper is a stud until he is 40 and they look like geniuses. I doubt it. But there is a chance.

    Only a 4 win difference? That seems low to me. I say they are instantly 10% better at least. And that would translate to 8-10 more wins or so. That's easily the difference between sub .500 and missing the playoffs and a #1-4 seed. So hell yeah, make that deal, roll the dice and just go for broke. Why not?

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    So the deal has no opt-out clause in the contract and Harper has a no-trade clause as well. So it's a smart contract in that respect and WAY better than Manny's for both parties involved. Meaning its a lot less likely this one dissolves in 5 years.

    On the other hand, it is interesting and I didn't know until this video that Harper turned down a 4-year $180 million contract with the Dodgers before this one. That first offer would have paid him $45 million a year vs this one with the Phillies which only pays about $25 million. That's $20 million a year less.

    Logic says he did this because it was safer. Lock up your salary for 10-13 years over just 4. But in 4 years he will only be 30. And as long as he is still productive, you would think the market and some team out there, maybe the Dodgers, would give him another comparable contract.

    So Harper played it safe. Maybe too safe in my opinion. Unless he just really really wanted to be a Philly for life.. he left a lot of money on the table.

    Think of it this way.. he could have made $180 million by age 30. And then let's say they offered him another 4 year deal worth only $150. That's $330 million combined. The EXACT same amount he is making with the Phillies, for FIVE years less work. SO he either left a lot of money on the table, or signed up for too much time with a single team. Either way, he bet against himself being elite by age 30 and that I think is not smart as he is one of the best and should remain so for at least another 5 years.