It’s not the biggest-ever salary promise if you account for inflation, but Bryce Harper’s reported deal with the Phillies does have the highest number ever attached to a big league guarantee: $330MM. The star slugger took a discounted annual rate of pay over 13 seasons to get there. Lacking an opt-out and with full no-trade rights for the player, Harper is rather likely (though hardly assured) to remain in Philadelphia until the end of the 2031 season.
We ran through some of the post-signing reporting on the deal this morning. You’ll find some key details on the negotiations there. Harper’s value has been debated endlessly, of course. Ultimately, the market gave us an answer. But it’s one that many find unappealing, either on the high or low side. For a contract that has been this long in the making — many looked forward to Harper’s free agency before he even signed his first professional contract with the Nationals — it seems worthy of a poll.
How would you characterize the Harper deal? (Link for app users.)
Great for Harper, bad for Phillies
How do you figure?
13 years is a long time
Well what’s the difference between this and deferring money except that they can have him under control for as long as they want pretty much
If he could have pulled in 180 in 4 from the Dodgers, think about it like this:
Still hate it?
The difference is with deferred money the CBT hit would be worse.
I thought he should have taken the Dodger offer of 4 years 180 mil. Even though he would have netted about 80 mil after taxes.
Absolutely! One knee or ankle away. You think the Angels regret Luis Pujols? You can stock an entire farm system for what the Phils paid for one bat. Sorry- no player is worth this much money.
Was Luis Pujols an announcer? Groundsman? Usher?
This is my point… In the later years with the increase in the luxury tax threshold and inflation and the continued prosperity of baseball, this deal is more likely to look like a bargain then a bust and at worst a break even deal on the field with financial benefits. 13 years is a long time but they could easily get a few 35+ million value seasons in which allows him to underperform the already lower value of the back years. One or two years anywhere near 2015 and 1 years salary pays for 2 seasons.
He took security over betting on himself and taking a 4-5 year huge AAV deal. I think this deal works out well for both sides. Phillies probably wanted 12/310-320 and the last year and lower cap hit was the compromise.
My greatest concern (if you can really call it that) is the length of the contract. We’re talking 13 years for a guy who has failed to play in more than 120 games during three of his seven seasons in the league.
I voted that I liked the deal for the Phillies, because I think he’s the kind of player who brings fans out, and potentially gets them into the playoffs. However, looking at this math, I think there are people on this board that would tell you they don’t like him for $15-$17M for 30-38 years – and that’s *after* you’ve (over)paid him $45M/year.
I think of it like this: he’s probably “worth” something like $30 – $40M until he drops off and then it’s a steady decline. If that’s at 34, the Phillies got a pretty good deal. If that’s at 30, the Phillies are in trouble. It’s a long contract, but he could deliver $40M/year (~6 WAR) without question for 9 years. If that’s the case, the last 4 years are just gravy.
That’s exactly what I was thinking. Good call.
Exactly. For this deal to be “worth it” to the Phillies, Harper has to put up just 41.25 WAR over 13 years (3.17 WAR on average) using the classic $8M per WAR stat. If he puts up a couple seasons like his monster 2015 that deal looks incredible. Or even if he just has a few more 2017s then this deal is so worth it.
Plus you can’t even begin to add up the extra value of ticket sales, jerseys, merch, PR, etc. Phillies got a steal and there’s going to be more than a few teams kicking themselves for not offering that deal.
Yyou made me think back to Pete Rose running into Luis Pujols at the plate in the 1980 NLCS. Rose coming to the Phils as a FA gave me the feeling as a kid my son got yesterday when the Phils signed Bruce.
Luis Pujols final season: 1985.
The numbers: 451 OPS+ and a 2.000 OPS.
P.S. – 1 game, 1 AB, 1 single off Dan Quisenberry
You’re counting on 6 WAR/season for 9 years from Bryce Harper? He’s only topped 6 WAR once in seven seasons.
CBT does change at all with deferred money
The last 3 – 5 years don’t really count. However, this contract gave the Phillies a way to defer money without actually deferring it.
I had the same thought but I think it would have been more like
First 5 years at 44= 220 +
Next 5 years at 17= 305 +
If he’s lucky, final 3 years at 6= 323
So in the end, I think he made the right choice, especially if it’s true that he actually cared about playing for 1 team.
Averaged 2.5 WAR over the last 3 years. So the Phillies are paying 10 per WAR. These mega deals are almost always bad the day they are signed. Salary increases league wide at best offset the declining performance as he ages.
Also would have hated the 4 for 180. Would have been a different kind of bad deal for the team.
Yes, and averaged 4.4 WAR over the last 4 years. Or if we look at fWAR, averaged 3.7 over the last 3 years and 5.1 over the last 4.
You’re just cherry-picking the stats that suit you best. Harper at his best can put up the best stats in the game, and he did that in 2015. Yes, he hasn’t done that since. Yes, he’s inconsistent. But let’s not pretend that he’s just a 2.5 WAR player, and that that is what the Phillies are paying for and getting. Let’s not pretend that less information is really more information.
Why cant we pretend he’s not that great? You said it yourself, he had only put up the best stats in the game a single season three years ago.
Because he hasnt even hit his prime yet. How’s that for starters? He did that at like 21-22 years old. Imagine in his 28-31 seasons the damage he can do if healthy. I don’t know we’ve even seen his ceiling yet offensively.
We don’t know f we’ve seen his best… but we DO know we haven’t seen his worst…
No, it really isn’t. 5 years from now he’ll be underpaid by market standards if he just stays healthy
I was hoping LA could sign him as it was reported he wanted to play there. HOWEVER, 13 years is insane and I fully understand them not doing it. How is it that Miami gives Stanton a contract they could never afford and would sell the team soon anyway and that contract is the new standard? I’m disappointed that it was all about the money and owning the ‘Biggest’ contract ever, Isn’t a crap load of money enough regardless of what someone else makes?
no mobile poll yet
Hang tight … coming in a moment.
I don’t see a poll, I’m on a laptop
Will Philly win a title in the next 13 years? If they do, I assume they’ll be happy with the signing.
That is good question. If they don’t it is a bust? Just one or should they have to win multiple championships ?
5-6 years of 5-6 WAR output plus a title makes the deal a steal. Anything less, probably not.
Only two of his seven seasons so far have produced 5-6+ WAR: his rookie year and 2015. His seasons go: 5.2, 3.7, 1.1, 10.0, 1.5, 4.5, 1.3. That 2015 season looks like quite an outlier. I think he’ll be productive, but expecting premier production from him is probably a mistake.
What if they win a title only in year 13, with Harper spending 120 games on the bench and/DL?
Then it’s still a win for the Phillies
He gets to be a champion and Phillies fans will be elated .
Harper = overrated
Unless he signed with your team.
He still would’ve been overrated.
All professional athletes = over rated
Ah yes let the billionares make all the money.
If the players would just stop demanding so much money, I’m sure these big-hearted philanthropists would finally stop raising ticket prices every year, though
Can’t blame him for taking the deal but that’s a ton of pressure and a lot of expectations to live up to for a long time.
That’s the same thing that I’ve been thinking. And the first season that he does not meet expectations. it is going to be a media circus.
This contract likely eliminates the possibility of Mike Trout making the trek to the Phillies in a couple years. I think I’d prefer to have Mike Trout as the face of my franchise.
Can we wait for Mike Trout to get to being a FA before every other team signs him? After seeing whats been occurring in the off season lately, more are likely to consider extensions to stay put. NA got a better deal than BH, and didnt have to go thru all the back and forth negotiations that make BH look bad. NA looks like a Hero to the fans for staying. BH looks like a Mercenary.
Yep. I really don’t see how LAA would allow him to reach free agency.
Did Arenado get a better deal? By AAV, sure. But is he for certain going to pull in an extra $70M after his contract is over? Other than that, I certainly agree. For Harper (and Machado) it was all about the money and nothing else.
Age difference is the only reason Arenados contract was shorter. I think long-term it’ll pay off. He’ll be like Bonds in S.F. or Brett in K.C. teams here for life.
Why did you put Bonds in San Francisco? Bonds started in Pittsburgh and like Harper, he left Pittsburgh for money.
San Francisco was just were Bonds inhaled steroids. He started with the Pirates. Please don’t confuse him with One team players like Craig Biggio, George Brett, or Chipper Jones. Bonds was all about cheating and “show me the money”.
The Phillies still have plenty of space before hitting the luxury tax. They could easily sign trout still because harpers yearly contract is relatively low
You’re talking about two years away.
That doesn’t rule out Trout at all. They are 80 million under the luxury tax after 2020. Harper on accounts for 12% of the luxury tax. I think Klentak is a genius.
How do you figure? In fact the lower AAV guarantees the Phillies will be in the mix for Trout.
Wrong. An AVV of 25mil still leaves the Phillies with plenty of room, and Cutch will be gone by then.
Trout never makes it to FA!
How do you figure Trout doesn’t reach free agency? Even if he doesn’t sign with the Phillies, he’ll certainly reach free agency. Why wouldn’t he? He’s already made way more money than he could ever spend, and he’s never won a playoff game. What would keep him in Anaheim without testing free agency? One thing…a MASSIVE, historic contract that would blow Harper’s out of the water. Moreno wants to keep Trout from free agency it’ll likely cost something like 10-12 years at $45M+ annually.
no it doesnt, and when Harper was talking about recruiting others to Philly, he was talking about Trout.
Terrible for both parties, but mostly for the team. Too much money, no out clauses, too long. Ever hear of buyer’s remorse? Good luck with that.
Opt out clauses help the player, not the team. The Phillies are thrilled that Harper didn’t require opt outs. Shows his commitment to the franchise and his willingness to make a career in Philly. Also showed us that all those rumors were BS.
In an era where teams really do not want to sign long-term deals anymore, I can’t see how an opt-out somewhere in the middle of a 13-year contract would be bad for the team.
I’m pretty sure there’s teams who wish some of their players would have opted out halfway through their contracts.
Because they have no control over it, therefore it makes it that much harder to project future expenses.
Anything uncertain is bad when you’re the one paying the bills.
actually the money annually isn’t terrible but 13 years is insane, he’ll be 40 and making 25mm
Actually in the last 3 years of the contract it calls for him to be paid “only” 22mm per. 1st years is 10mm + 20mm signing bonus, next 9 years are 26mm per. Still ton of money that will be owed late in the contract.
It will actually only be $22M, and in 2031 that AAV might me nothing.
After seeing what has happened with Pujols and Cabrera, who were both way more accomplished hitters than Harper, how can one reasonably expect this to end well for Phillies? Better hope he delivers massive value in next 5 years, because it’s better than 50/50 he will be a liability for last 5 years of deal.
Bargain for phils. 25.4 million aav, not too hard on the luxury tax and it fills an of need
Come on, he led Washington to all those titles …
The Phillies got Harper for 13 years.
Peoples issue is not with the money itself, its the years, with NO opt our and a no trade clause. That is a very very bad move on the Phillies part. This dude has shown he cannot stay healthy, and cannot put up consistent numbers year after year. This deal would have been fine with an opt out after 6. Essentially, you are stuck with him for 13 years. Makes no sense to do this. Their GM opened his mouth a little too much with the “stupid money” comments. Boras was salivating i bet in that meeting lol. I still think this team is a 3rd place finish. I am not impressed with their roatation as it stands right now. Good move on the Nats part to part ways. Nats will win that division. Best pitching staff in baseball
The Phillies absolutely do not care about the later years. If Harper is solid for 6 or 7 of these years, the deal is well worth it.
It WS or bust every season
As it should be for every team. Why play if you’re not trying to win it all?
Well not every team spent like 500 million this off season now did they?
Ha ha. They are all trying to win it all but if he doesn’t Harper gets 25 million each year just for trying .
They can get all the hitters they want, wont matter if their rotation is below average. They add Keuchel? now youre in the conversation with the Nats/Braves
Aaron Nola finished third in the Cy Young voting. Pivetta has great potential. Arrieta could have a nice comeback year. Velazquez is solid and the bullpen is great. Do the Phillies have better pitching thsn the Nats and Mets? Absolutely not. The Phillies could finish anywhere from 1st to 4th. The point is, they’re contending now. Also, I don’t think people understand that this move allows the Phillies to spend more, not necessarily this year, but in the future. Plenty of moves to be made.
No one should take anything you have to say seriously. I remember reading your cringy comments on one of the Braves posts and how “the Nats and Phils have a more rounded team than the Braves” and this was before they signed Harper. Now all of a sudden they’re finishing 3rd, according to you, and the Braves are finishing above them.
The extra years keep the Phillies under the tax threshold. No one expected Harper to accept a deal with an AAV this low. I think it’s a great move for both parties. The Phillies will still be in the race for Trout when he becomes a FA. They also have enough space to add some veteran SPs.
All that being said, I will never call 330m a bargain. This was just a solid deal.
I agree with you 100%. I’m surprised more teams weren’t in on him at that AAV.
I liked reading on ESPN that Harper himself declined to have opt-outs in the contract as him promoting the team to other free agents would ring hollow if he had options to leave before his contract was up.
So Boras’ post-signing comment that the Phillies promised to commit to being a t0p-5 salary team, more signings must be coming.
Kimbrel at $16-18M plus another $12-15M/year contract would put them right in range of the top 5
Let’s hope this mega contract isn’t Ryan Howard 2.0 but longer.
Ignoring the NTC, if the Phillies tried to trade Harper today, would anyone do it?
We know the answer. No other team was willing to give him this contract.
Overpay, but many times overpaying is better than leaving empty handed.
In terms of AAV I think it’s fair for both sides, but in terms of years it’s definitely an overpay. I’m amazed that all he wanted to do was play for one team the rest of his career, quite admirable. I respect Bryce a lot more after this deal.
He’s g0ing to sell a lot of tickets, at least at first, both home and on the road. The Phillies haven’t won more than 80 games since 2011. He makes them much more competitive, and that means dollars for ownership, Is it an overpay for his expected on-field contribution–quite possibly, but more fannies in seats offset
48,000 tickets sold for opening night. $100 for not so good seats from 3rd party vendors already.
honestly I see it more of a bargain based on the AAV. For a former MVP, that has even entered his true prime yet. How is this not a bargain
Deals for each team.
1. Harper for Phillies is a great deal for the Phillies. He’ll age the best and carries the lowest aav. Grade – A-
2. Machado. Worth the shot with the up and coming talent. Grade – C+
3. Arenado. Horrible extension for a player that will be regressing in a few years. Grade – D+
I disagree. I think the length of the Harper deal will prove to be an albatross come 6-7 years from now if not earlier. I loved the Machado deal from both sides. I feel the Arenado deal was pricey in terms of AAV in bought out FA years but Colorado needed to get that done and I don’t believe he will be regressing real soon. Maybe 5 years from now. I see Arenado similarly to Adrian Beltre who aged really well and will go into the Hall in the same manner I see Arenado one day. RBI machine with a Brooks Robinson glove.
4) Your Assessment – F
Let me guess. All because he plays for the Rockies and in Coors Field? Just like everyone else.
No. I explained pretty thoroughly, it’s because third basemen age poorly, and Arenado is the oldest of the group.
Add in his comps and contact rates, and he is a mix of Matt Williams, Ryan Zimmerman, and Eric Chavez. Look how those guys aged from 28+ and you get a good baseline for how Arenado should age. Those are his closest three comps through his age 27 season based on contact rates, ISO, defensive metrics, etc.
Those three have a combined fWAR from age 28+ of 13.0
Career through the age of 27
RZ – .287/.353/.479 – 120 wRC+ – 4310 PA – 58.6 UZR – 0.54 BB/K – .191 ISO – 30.4 fWAR
EC – .275/.350/.496 – 118 wRC+ – 4201 PA – 43.9 UZR – .63 BB/K – .221 ISO
MW – .251/.295/.467 – 110 wRC+ – 3241 PA – 57.9 UZR – .27 BB/K – .215 ISO – 20.3 fWAR
NA – .291/.346/.539 – 118 wRC+ – 3695 PA- .50 BB/K – .248 ISO (remember where he plays) – 50.2 UZR – 25.3 fWAR
Matt Williams is the worst player to this point, but he also had the best career after this point.
If you wanted to reach for other comps, maybe Scott Rolen and Bob Horner, but their base line doesn’t improve Arenado at all.
Fact is, it’s very rare to see a third basemen be useful by the time they are 31.
To expect more than 20 fWAR from Arenado over the life of his deal would be foolish. But for Harper, whose comps are closer to guys like Griffey. It’s completely realistic.
He averages roughly 4 WAR per season for his career and he’s yet to hit his “prime”. Definitely an All-Star caliber player, though I would hardly put him into the $25M per year type of player. You also have to consider the value he brings to a franchise financially; ticket sales, jersey sales, etc. The money was well spent IMO.
The hesitation I have from a baseball aspect is the length of the contract. Historically, 10 year deals have not aged well.
Maybe. Maybe not. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/bryce-harper-may-already-be-past-his-prime/
I think it’s a bargain for the Phillies in terms of AAV, IF Harper continues to contribute at a high level for more than half of the contract. However, I’m never a fan of making a 10+ year commitment to a player, regardless of age or talent. There are just too many factors and uncertainties that cause a long-term deal like that to go bust. Then it cripples a team’s payroll flexibility once the player’s value depreciates.
I also think Harper was silly (petty?) to focus so much on a record-breaking guarantee, and probably ended up hurting himself in terms of overall compensation. He could’ve had a 5-6 year deal at $40+ million AAV now, then become a free agent at 31 (still relatively in his prime) in a whole new marketplace. Who knows what kinda crazy contracts will be handed out in 2026 vs. 2019.
What he received was by definition, fair market price. So the results should be 100% for that but I get what the poll is asking. Too hot, too cold, or juuuust right.
Let’s see, a grown man playing a kids game, making 25+ million for the next 13 years, yes, HUGE OVERPAY!
There are so many more aspects to this signing than just years and money and statistics and championships.
The Phillies get a bankable star, and a veteran with talent and experience to take some of the onus off players like Franco and Hererra and even Hoskins. The young hitters are no longer people put completely on the spot to produce. The only area of youth and pressure is the rotation behind Nola and Arrieta. I can only hope that one of the young cadre of pitchers they have breaks out this year. Signing Dallas Kuechel might help with that in the short term, but they still need Pivetta or Eflin or Velasquez to pan out sooner rather than later.
Just imagine how many more tickets will be sold in the short term, boosting profit and energy in Philadelphia. The town is craving more playoff sports after the Eagles won the SB. The Sixers will bring some of that. The Phillies can now go for it.
Bargain for the Phillies. Imagine the revenue flow from tickets and merchandise. What other free agent would’ve generated that kind of revenue?
You have to spend the money somewhere. Now the pressure is on the scouting department to keep cheap and productive talent on the roster.
So, in 2021 Tampa will announce the movement to Vegas. in 2023 they move. in 2024 Harper approves trade to Vegas. you heard it here first.
Another Dome stadium in the future if that happens….
I do not like Harpers deal from a team standpoint due to the length of it. Unless they can renegotiate to defer money later if something happens to Harper in the way of an injury or if he just tails off production wise in the 2nd half of the deal, AAV really means nothing to to the Phillies. All $330 of it is guaranteed to be paid to him in those 13 years. If they would have given him 330 over to years the AAV would have been 33 million instead of 25.38 but still the same 330 million total. A whole lot of dead money to be paid out if Harper does what just about every other player has done before him that signed deals of this length that end in the mid to lat 30’s. Will have a player who is contributing very little if at all and the team still paying top dollar. San Diego gladly put in the opt out clauses because I am betting that they are hoping the does opt out before they have to worry about Manny’s dead money years. I just think it is a huge risk for a team to guarantee that much money over that long of a time. I would rather have done 5-6 years 40million AAV. THat is why Boras and the other agents are not really worried about AAV and more worried about length of contract and total guarantee.
Just tossing out Fangraphs fWAR projection x fWAR value, last season (which was a down year for him at 3.5 fWAR) he was “worth” $27.8 million. Assuming that this is his floor for the first half of the contract, that’s about $195 million in value. That means he needs to be worth $22.5 million per year over the last 6 years, which (assuming fWAR value remains the same) is about 2.8 WAR per season. Guys who hit roughly that mark last year include Corey Dickerson, Joey Gallo & Bryce’s new teammate Rhys Hoskins. It’s definitely possible he could crater a la Albert Pujols starting with his age 33 season, but it’s also likely he’s going to outperform 3.5 fWAR for multiple years during the 26-32 stretch. I think in the end it’s all going to even out, which is why I picked “fair market price” in the poll.
One wildcard – if the NL adopts the DH during the course of this contract, I think this will end up being a great deal for the Phillies.
WIll be great if he can still hit well later in the contract. I said yesterday, betting the Phils will be one of the teams leading the charge to add the DH to the NL now.
Get Tased at CBP
$25M/yr leaves great flexibility for future FAs, namely Mike Trout. Yes, Phillies are frontrunners to obtain the Machine 2.0.
The Angels are actually always going to be the front runner until the day he files for free agency, since they have exclusive negotiating rights with him until then.
Why are baseball fans so bad at math…
7M-10M/WAR in free agency
3-5 WAR average projections
21M – 50M projected value
Median – 35.5M/Year
Contract AAV – 25.38M/Year
It’s not just a bargain – it’s a statistically significant bargain before even accounting for ceiling. I’m losing faith in baseball fans.
Alternatively – even in a “worst case scenario” they’re only overpaying by 4M a year or 52M over the life of the contract. Even the Rays could afford a 52M loss over 13 years.
Mostly because ‘everybody knows’ long contracts leave most players overpaid at the end
And then a lot of willful ignorance when anybody brings up the shirt term benefits…
And a small but vocal minority screaming at clouds because ‘back in the day players weren’t so greedy’
Who says it’s 7M to 10M per WAR. It’s a magical number that is meaningless.
A five win player is worth ZERO to the vast vast majority of teams in the major leagues, It doesn’t get them anywhere. An extra five wins would have meant the difference to two teams last year… the Cubs and the Rockies.
Why are you so bad at logic?
Lmao dude…math says what the value of WAR is…
Cost of WAR is calculated by dividing amount paid (in FA deals) by the WAR produced and is solely based on completed seasons. The variance is there because WAR is calculated differently by different sources.
Also “worth” is subjective but value is contextual. So its not only mathematically sound it’s logic in its purist form.
Clown question bro.
Are you sure you want the internet to always remember you as the guy who argued wins don’t matter to the vast majority of teams?
I mean, if we do use last year as an example, a 5 win player would have significantly impacted at least 2 playoff races… So I think just about any team in what’s expected to be a close division would value those wins at significantly more than 0
But that’s if you apply logic…
Already 100,000 new ticket sales after the Harper signing that’s after less than 24hours I’ve always said the owners aren’t gonna put out of their pockets he’s gonna pay his own salary
Tickets concessions jersey and team merchandise sales will take care of that.
Specially when players switch teams all the new excitement brings in more revenue.
I was assured, almost every day, by one particular commenter that Harper would sign with the Yankees. What happened?
On the surface it looks like Bryce Harper cared more about playing baseball longer than the AAV. I couldn’t see a team signing him after 10 years (his age 36-38 years) Especially not for the amount of $22M per season in this market. But the market changes year to year so who knows what baseball will look like in year 2029.
Harper and the Phillies are doomed to a divorce when the honeymoon ends. Gabe Kapler will be the first to fall.
For me it isn’t the money it is his swing, defense, and health. His swing is long. Works well now, but soon his bat speed will dwindle, and I fear he will be forced to make adjustments. Not an easy thing to do. His defense has already taken a step backwards. Granted, his position only requires average ability if one produces offensively, but hard to see how he adds a lot defensively going forward and lastly, his health particularly, his knees, which have already caused him issues. I hope the best for him, just a lot of questions, which would give me pause.
Yes, I can see the poll results but this is a bargain by a long shot. I’m scratching my head as to why the LAD wouldn’t have at least matched this deal. Before the naysayers rip me apart let me say at $25mm avg per this is a steal. Forget any numbers and production because those will be there. There’s instant value in Haroer’s marketability. And he’ll produce on the field.
I kinda’ feel the same way about my Cubs right now.
I’m sure the length scared them off, but I don’t think that’s quite a rational fear
Harper has a big ego & is jerk for this free agent jaunt and “quasi fake 2 reasons” – 1 place, no opt out.
NO Division titles w Nats, playoff stats mediocre.
How many Division wins in Philly will he get & be “worth it” $$ in 13 yrs – ? World Series rings ?
3 & 1 or 4 & 3 like the Giants w Bochy? Or like Yanks w Jeter?
Glad he’s gone from DC & I’ll BOO him when he comes – $300M he had from Lerners in Oct.
Anyone have Harper’s stats at Citizens Bank Park? I’m sure he’ll crush it at his new ballpark. I mean, not as much as he would with the short porch in Yankee Stadium.
From CBS Sports:
“Harper is a career .268/.365/.564 hitter with 14 home runs in 50 career games in Philadelphia. He is the ballpark’s all-time leader in slugging percentage (min. 200 plate appearances):
Bryce Harper: .564
Rhys Hoskins: .562
Chipper Jones: .547
Hanley Ramirez: .545
Jayson Werth: .535”
Thanks man, I’m sure Harper & Boras considered that when negotiating.
He is batting .268 at CBP for his career. His 14 home runs are the most away from Washington DC, and his 32 RBIs are the second-best away from Nationals Park. He had 33 RBIs at Miami. His best season at CBP was 2012 (.389, 2 2b, 2 3b, 2 HR, 8 RBI). Second-best season there was 2015 (.345, 1 2B, 5 HR, 8 RBI)..
Outside of Nationals Park, CBP is where he put up his best numbers
You can go check out his park splits over at baseball reference
The are more interests here than just Harper and the Phillies.
(1) As to Harper, he may have had his eye set on something bigger, but I can’t see my way to saying he got a bad deal when he’s going to earn $330mm. I can’t relate to the ego of a person who thinks they ought to be paid at the highest level ever. I support the players fighting for as much money as possible, since they make the game and the owners do not; but I won’t feel any sympathy for a guy making hundreds of millions of dollars, instead or more hundreds of millions of dollars.
(2) There’s no telling if this is a good deal for the Phils until Harper performs. Frankly, I suspect it will be an overpay, because Harper doesn’t seem to have the drive and talent of a guy who is going to last into his late ‘30’s, especially with a guaranteed contract. I expect a couple of good- to excellent-years, and then a major drop to average or mediocre.
(3) For the players as whole, this is not bad, but not as good as they hoped. It moves the needle forward incrementally in terms of labor’s share of the profits. It’s not the major jump that some had hoped for.
(4) For management/ownership in MLB generally, I think this this is a significant setback. I think teams really do want to push back against such long guarantees, and were making some progress in changing the expectations. But with Machado and now this, I think going into future years the stars are still going to be expecting 10+years.
(5) For the fans, I don’t think it’s great. Though I’m a labor-friendly guy, I do think that MLB teams get hamstrung by these contracts and put out a poorer product. I understand that the cost of tickets is driven by demand, not by payroll costs. But I also understand that teams with high payroll tied up in one or two players (often underperforming) are going to perceive a scarcity and cut corners rather than cut into management’s take-home pay. I think a better baseball product would be put on the field if the payroll was lower, because teams would be more flexible with rosters and be able to cut underperforming players. Honestly, if the range of player salaries was $1mm to $10mm per year, instead of $1mm to $35mm per year, I don’t think we’d see players disincentivized to perform; they’d still want that pay bump that comes with performance, it just wouldn’t impact the overall roster as deeply.
I wouldn’t advocate for that system, though, because it’s not economically fair to the players. Personally, I’d rather see teams run like a co-op, where the players and management are the owners and share in the profits for the term of their contracts. But here in ‘Murica that seems like too much communism. Gotta have fat cats running the show, or we might end up like Sweden.
Perfectly said “BCJD”! This was a great read for sure so thank you for that. The only argument I could give is inflation, but they could adjust accordingly for that.
I really like Bryce Harper, but he simply doesn’t have the slash line that matches the contract imho. I think he’s done an excellent job branding himself and I’d say 80% of the contract reflects that. He’s a household name, but he’s not in the same paragraph as mike trout. A player that will deserve a large commitment.
MLBTR did away with the dislike button? Seriously? Golly, everything gone PC nowadays
I liked the down votes.
It was implicit in my name.
Still think Phillies are 3rd best in this division.
Based on Arenado’s contract of 5.9 $/WAR it’s a slight overpay in terms of AAV. Harpers avg WAR is 3.9 so 23M is fair market value based on that contract. 24M based on Machados 6.2 $/WAR.
That’s just a lot of money over a lot of years… not to mention he took a big step backwards this year so there is that legit concern. Maybe he’s good for them, but there is no way he will be good by the time he’s 34-35. Mark my words. In fact, I believe he will be on a horrible downward trend by 30, but gosh. He better do some great things with that money
Boras did a hell of a job landing him that contract. Maybe a little over priced, but I do like the Phillies extending it to 13 years vs say 10 since it helps the average balance out since they were going to pay him 330 million anyways.
$25M annually is about what Harper is worth right now. In five years, he’ll be past his prime as an OF, so the contract won’t look great. Considering inflation and future value if money, this isn’t a bad deal for Harper nor the Phillies. $30M+ would have absolutely been an overpay though, since he’s not regarded as a great defender.
Only bad part of this deal is what happen if he suffer a Josh Donaldson type of injury? What if he injure his calf and is lost for a year and a half? Injuries happen to everyone. In the middle of Stanton’s contract, he got hit in the face with a fastball. He was lost for a while. What will happen if someone’s fastball slip out of the pitcher’s hand, and hit Harper where Stanton got hit? Some of the pitchers now throw 100 on the radar and it will cause massive damage.
you could say the same thing about any contract basically….
neither of those injuries were career ending- and donaldson had to have the worst calf injury in the history of sports.
Those contracts are insured. If something like that were to happen, most of the contract would be paid.
FACT: What a player signs for IS the “market rate.” It cannot be argued.
However, if the question is… “Is Bryce Harper over-valued,” then the answer then becomes a matter of opinion. In my own opinion, yes; Bryce was highly over-valued.
Thing is, many don’t actually know how to value players because profits are skyrocketing at rates we can’t keep up with. FA contracts are directly tied to profits, or at least they were until recently when almost all MLB owners decided they were Billy Beane and suddenly the billion dollar Cubs have “no money” to give an elite HOF-level pitcher like Kimbrel 5/90.
So…just how hard are the Phillies banking on the DH going league-wide?
I think it’s great value for the Phillies. In 8, 10, 13 years from now, inflation will probably lift salaries for decent/solid players to that level.
I said overpay but that doesnt necessarily mean it will end up bad for them. I think the 25 AAV is good for the Phillies, but 13 years is a long time. They will eventually have a year where they pay more than he is worth
You are delusional if you think this is an overpay. Players are NOT getting their fair share of the profits made from their hard work, and greedy, money-grubbing owners are pocketing those profits instead of paying out players.
Harper deserved 10/400 at minimum. He should be making $40M a year, whether your “old school” and “I don’t track MLB profits but I sure do love obsessing over the player salaries that are directly tied to them” mind likes it or not.
I’m so sick of penny pinching owners. THEY are the ones who need to be regulated by the MLBPA the most. The fact that almost all the owners view their baseball teams as their “hobby” as they are making many times over the massive profits they make off baseball players with other businesses, is proof enough.
I can remember when Ryne Sandberg was the highest paid player in baseball. Things have changed a lot since then
They would still have money for Trout , and also give Realmuto a contract extension.