Bryce Harper finally made the decision all of us have been waiting so long for. The 26-year old is heading the City of Brotherly Love to play for the Phillies.
Harper was in search of an eye-opening contract, and he got just that. He watched as his fellow peers like Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado sign extraordinary contracts with the Padres and Rockies, and was fed up with it.
“Bam Bam” decided he’d one up his peers with a 13-year deal worth $330 million of 100% GUARANTEED MONEY. This is the most amount of money ever guaranteed to a player in the MLB. This might seem like a massive contract, but it’s not as incredible as it seems when you first look at it.
$30,000,000: What the Phillies will pay Bryce Harper this year.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 4, 2019
$32,602,277: Mike Schmidt’s inflation adjusted career earnings over his 17-year career.
Over the next 13 years, Harper will be making just over $25 million a year. This being said, the deal isn’t as bank breaking as it seems. This contract not only benefits Harper, it also benefits his counterparts who are yet to sign blockbuster contracts like himself.
The Phillies paying Harper this kind of money will force the hand of other franchises. These teams will have no choice but to pay their stars big money.
Is He Worth It?
At this moment, it’s impossible to tell if Harper is worth the money he’ll get over the next 13 years. We don’t yet know which guy we’re going to get.
48 hours later and still on fire 🔥🔥🔥 More @Bharper3407 jerseys have been sold across @Fanatics than any other player in company HISTORY in first 2 days after joining a new team for any sport. Philly fans coming through again!!!! pic.twitter.com/VntjZ3TYn1— Michael Rubin (@MichaelGRubin) March 4, 2019
Ever since his MVP season back in 2015, Harper has been wildly inconsistent. In 2016, he dropped almost one hundred percentage points down to a .243 batting average. His home run count was almost completely cut in half as well over one year. Harper sent 42 baseballs out of the park in 2015, but only sent out 24 in 2016.
In 2017, everyone thought Harper was back to his MVP playing ways; turning in a .319 batting average, with 29 home runs and 87 RBI. However, Harper once again dropped off last year and turned in arguably his worst year in the MLB so far.
The 26-year old chimed in his second highest home run output with 34, while posting his highest number of RBI in a single season. To wrap a bow around a great season, he posted an underwhelming .243 batting average with his second lowest WAR rating in his career. A
ll in all, this could end up being something incredible for the Phillies franchise in terms of winning and hardware, which brings me to my next point.
Philadelphia has put together a hitting lineup that would worry anybody throwing against them. Headlined by Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Odubel Herrera, and J.T. Realmuto, this will for sure be a team to be reckoned with in the National League that doesn’t pose much competition other than the Dodgers, Cubs, and Padres.
Herrera and Hoskins are two rising stars that are looking to build on encouraging seasons last year. Herrera was second in total hits last year on the team and tied for third in home runs. Hoskins is a devastating power hitter. He was in the home run derby last season while leading the team in total bases and RBI last year.
Another good addition for Philly was Jean Segura. He batted .304 for the Mariners last year and tallied 178 hits, both which led the team.
Harper hasn’t put up the eye-popping numbers that guys like Mookie Betts and Mike Trout have put up over the last few years. However, Harper is a MVP and he has proven that he can play at that level and be just as good as anyone in baseball.
Is Harper worth all this money and all this time? Maybe. The only thing we know for sure is that Harper CAN be worth it with his play.