As first reported by Jon Heyman, Bryce Harper has finally signed a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. This is a 13 year, 330 million dollar contract that will include no opt-out clauses. A contract of this magnitude comes as a surprise, as teams were wary of giving Manny Machado or Harper a 10 year contract. Now, it seems that the Phillies added the extra years to convince him to sign, as other suitors such as the San Fransisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers emerged.
This contract is the highest guaranteed contract in history, barely topping Giancarlo Stanton’s 13 year, 325 million pact he is currently working under. Harper is getting an AAV (Average Annual Value) of 25.4 million, which ranks the 14th highest in major-league history. Bryce Harper and his agent Scott Boras are both very competitive, and sources have confirmed that they wanted to top Stanton’s overall number.
This makes the Phillies an overall better team, and the NL East is shaping up to be an all-out dogfight this summer. On the other hand, this move does not put the Phillies over the top, while it would have put the Nationals over the top. In that sense, the Mets should be lucky, but also disappointed that a NL West suitor could not make the deal come to fruition.
The Mets will need to get used to facing Harper for another decade, and some more years after that. With that said, they have faced him for years already, and the NL East is shaping up to be a battle this season.