The Phillies' Stupid Money to Sign Harper Looks Pretty Damn Smart

Published on 28-Feb-2019 by Alan Adamsson

MLB    MLB Daily Update

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The Phillies' Stupid Money to Sign Harper Looks Pretty Damn Smart

This is a killer deal for everyone involved.

  • High-profile agent Scott Boras can claim he just negotiated the top total value contract of all time ... for now;
  • High-hope Philadelphia just boosted their playoff prospects for this and probably a few future seasons, and
  • High-profile client Bryce Harper got a place to call home for as long as possible.


Put it all together, and Bob's your uncle.


What's interesting here is, all along, money didn't seem to be the primary issue for Harper. Instead, it was simply the way Boras keeps score.

Thus, what put Philadelphia into the winner's circle was the contract length and its no-trade clause.


There is a perk here and there, but essentially, yes.

Maybe dude's a throwback to simpler times. Maybe he's just happy to wear Jersey No 3 in red pinstripes and be the Millennial of Mash in the comfy confines of Citizens Bank Park.


Meanwhile, the Phils have gotta be pinching themselves. Check out who's ahead of Harper in the Average Annual Value (AAV) table:

  • $34,416,666 million: Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks
  • $32,500,000 million: Nolan Arenado, Rockies
  • $31,000,000 million: David Price, Red Sox
  • $31,000,000 million: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
  • $31,000,000 million: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
  • $30,000,000 million: Manny Machado, Padres
  • $30,000,000 million: Max Scherzer, Nationals
  • $28,000,022 million: Roger Clemens, Yankees
  • $27,500,000 million: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
  • $27,500,000 million: Yoenis Cespedes, Mets



Albert Pujols' albatross contract still serves as the cautionary tale about diminishing returns, but Harper's deal isn't the same. Dude's a full five years younger at the start of his deal and may just about to be entering his prime.

Besides, how great does he really have to be to justify a $25million season as soon as three years from now? Furthermore, what if he does make that ballyard his bitch?


The hints are there:

  • Dude's a career .268/.365/.564 hitter with 14 home runs in 50 career games at the Vault, and
  • He's already the all-time leader in that yard for slugging percentage at .564.


The Nationals claimed to extend a 10-year, $300million offer to Harper, but after parsing, it was so bonus-heavy that the actual base amount turned out to be much less. If there was any indication Washington felt they could do just as well with what they had and had coming in their system, that was it.

Still, they'll see more than enough of him over the next 13 years. As in 19 times a season.

Perhaps their fans should do the glass half full thing and think of that as a bonus.