Overrated Bryce Harper signs with Phillies for 13 years/$330 million
Our long national nightmare is finally over. Bryce Harper has a home, and it's a short trip down I-95 in Philadelphia. Predicted by many at the start of the offseason, Bryce Harper is a Phillie. $330 million over 13 years. NO opt-outs and a full no-trade clause. That means he will be calling Philadelphia (or maybe South Jersey???) home until 2031.
That's a lot of money for a baseball player who's hit over 40 home runs once, driven in 100 runs once (exactly 100 in 2018), and hit over .300 twice. He also boasts an embarrassing .211 batting average in the postseason. Just when you thought long-term contracts were a thing of the past in MLB.
Huge deals like this don't seem to have a great success rate. Jacoby Ellsbury's 7yr/$153 million contract is an all-time clunker for the Yankees. The Mariners have already bailed on Robinson Cano's 10yr/$240 million contract. The reasoning for these contracts usually comes down to this: teams are willing to pay that high of a price for talent, and for that long, because they feel while that player in in their prime, they will have an easier time drawing fans to the ballpark, but more importantly, it'll increase the team's chances of winning a championship. They expect the contract to be considered a "success" by the time that player reaches 36 or 37 years old when they start breaking down.
Will this gamble pay off for the Phillies? Time will certainly tell. They hung around the NL pennant race way longer than any expert predicted going into the 2018 season. Maybe Harper will be the the missing piece to the puzzle, though I strongly believe it will take a lot more to get over the hump.
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