Bryce Harper chooses Philadelphia…forever

The time has finally come. Bryce Harper has picked a new home and has signed a 13 year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The news came down mid-morning on Thursday and all of a sudden, the stars aligned for the Phillies.

The Phillies had been involved all along, but over the past few days the Dodgers and the Giants had made a push. The list of suitors for Harper’s talents began to grow slightly. It was reported that the dodgers were interested in a short-term deal and Harper’s agent Scott Boras said they had an offer of $45 million annually for a short term deal. But Boras was instructed to get the longest deal possible.

It was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle that the giants went as high as 12 years and $310 millions. But like most people have guessed over the past month and a half, Harper decided that he truly wanted to be in Philadelphia.

Harper told Boras he wanted to be in one city for the rest of his career. Rightfully so, there are no opt-outs and he also has a no-trade clause tied into it, essentially making him a Philadelphian for the remainder of his career.

Yes, over the past month I guessed that Philadelphia is where Harper would land. But, not in my wildest dreams did I believe that he would want to be there for the rest of his career. It’s ridiculous to think about. In most contracts, the opt-out clauses are huge. They allow players to either re-up late in their career, if their numbers support it, or it allows them to opt into it if their numbers don’t. With no options, Harper will be making just over $25 million a year for the next 13 years.

With the numbers of this baffling contract out of the way, lets look at what this move actually does for the Phillies.

It gives them a left-handed bat to add to a lineup that already includes Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen and shortstop Jean Segura. In my opinion, it already turns them into a favorite in the National League East and sets them up for the foreseeable future.

I do not believe it makes them a World Series contender this season. But down the line, with some free agent additions to the pitching rotation and another bat or two, the Phillies could be a team to watch in the next 5 years.

One thing I am excited about is the possibility of Bryce Harper and Mike Trout playing on the same team. Since Harper has been tied to Philadelphia, the rumors of Trout and Harper playing together have started to swirl. Trout is a known Eagles fan, he loves the city, and he is a free agent after the 2020 season.

Who knows what could happen.

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