Harper signs record deal to stay in the NL East
Bryce Harper finally got paid. According to reports, The former National is joining the Phillies on a 13-year, $330 million contract, with no opt-outs and a full no trade clause. Harper, a 26-year old outfielder, is now the highest paid player in the MLB, surpassing Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million dollar deal which he received last year from the Marlins.
Harper patiently waited four months to make his decision with lots of twists and turns along the way. The Phillies were the favorite from the start of the offseason, but many believed that he was more inclined to play for a team on the west coast, near his hometown of Las Vegas. Over the last few weeks, reports indicated that the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants had crept into the conversation, but both were outbid by Philadelphia.
Over his seven year MLB career, Harper has racked up several accolades. He’s made six All-Star teams, won Rookie of the Year in 2012, and has one MVP award (2015) to his credit. Last year was not his best, finishing with a .249 batting average with 34 home runs (courtesy of Baseball Reference).
Overall, this is a massive signing for the Phillies who were in desperate need of a superstar to round off their 2019 lineup. Even after trading for all-star C J.T. Realmuto and inking CF Andrew McCutchen to a three year deal, the Phillies wanted to get Harper to complete a successful offseason.
With these moves, the team is immediately vaulted to the front of the NL East and may even have a shot at the World Series. "Bryce is a franchise altering player," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said to Philly.com upon hearing the news. "He is tailor made for our team."
Other Phillies players expressed their excitement about Harper going to Philadelphia. Pitcher Aaron Nola spoke on the future of the team after a spring training game on Thursday." It's exciting. He's a superstar player. We were already a better team without him, but now that we got him it takes it up a notch," he said.
Nobody knows how good the Phillies will actually be, but what is for certain is that they will be much improved from their 80-82 season last year. Harper is just scratching the surface as a player and he'll get a chance to shine alongside a young core in Philadelphia.
Sam Kulp. Hi! I'm Sam. Other than writing articles for SCO, I enjoy playing tennis and watching the Eagles play on Sunday. #FlyEaglesFly More »