From the nation's capital to the original capital, Bryce Harper is finally a Philadelphia Phillie. I am elated that one of my favorite players in the game is not going to the Yankees!
In an off-season where the biggest story line has been the lack of signings despite a star-studded free agent class.... it's technically not even the off-season anymore. It's fucking spring training. This took for-ev-er. The 2019 season is in full swing. The off-season came and went before Bryce signed.
Despite that little nugget, up until this week, it really looked like the calendar was going to turn to March without Manny Machado and Bryce Harper on Major League rosters. With February on life support former Cy-Young winner Dallas Kuechel and Craig Kimbrel still are available. It makes no sense. They're really good and could help every team in the league.
Even with these two massive deals I think baseball is a big trouble when it comes to players and owners being on the same page. Collusion has been tossed around like a juul on a field trip this off-season. V worried about a potential strike.
Earlier this week Manny Machado signed an 10 year $300 million dollar with the San Diego Padres. Not to be out-done Bryce Harper inked a 13 year $330 million dollar deal with the Phillies.
Considering the fact that Bryce is going to be in Philly for 13 years (we'll see) I guess what's really the hurt in waiting longer than usual to make it official? While the AAV is less than the Machado deal at $25.5 million what makes Harper's contract stand out is the lack of opt-outs (which have become the biggest contract trend in baseball) and the length.
That is lunacy! A teenage contract. One and a third decades. That's kindergarten to graduation. 13 years is such a long commitment it blows my mind. Sandy Koufax only played 12 years. Plus just with the concept of time it's really fucking me up. This deal expires in the 2030's. 2031 to be exact. Like that isn't even a real decade. I'll be basically 40. FUCK THAT. NOPE. By the time this contract expires we could be on President #48 and I wouldn't be shocked if the world is actually over.
I can't remember the last time, if ever where there's been a contract like this in sports. Rick Dipietro's 15 year deal in 2006 is really all that comes to mind. Not exactly the best company to keep. Probably the worst contract in NHL history lolol and had they not bought him out he'd still be under contract for like 3 more years.
On the diamond the move immediately makes the Phillies roster a lot sexier, as Bryce Harper, despite his detractors is one of the most dynamic and electric players in the game. Citizen Bank Park is going to be sold out again most nights, even though I think a 13 year commitment is INSANE, this is the right move (as of now) for the Phillies. They are on the doorstep of being a contender and have the money to spend. In a market like Philly, with the success this team experienced in late 2000's it clear they want to return to those glory days. I don't buy into all the new-age stats and still don't totally get WAR but Harper has been pretty solid since he got to the show.
With a core of guys like Nola, Arrieta, Hoskins, Realmuto the Phillies are all in to compete for a World Series. Idk if they'll even make the playoffs this year because the NL East is really top heavy with the Phillies, Braves and even the Nationals (despite losing Harper). 2019 is going to be a lot of fun, and look at this way Philly, with 13 years of Harper you have plenty of time to win it all.