Article by: Zach Henley
After a long off-season of patience and negotiating, Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed on a 13-year, $330 million contract. The deal also includes a no trade clause, and no opt outs. Harper, 26, is coming from a seven-year stint with the Washington Nationals, who drafted him number one overall in 2008. When the off-season began, the Phillies made it clear that they would spend as much as free agents Harper and Machado wanted. As soon as Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres, all the focus went to Harper. However, one day before the Phillies signed him, reports showed that the Los Angeles Dodgers had made a late push for the all-star free agent.
Both the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers were pushing to sign Harper to a short-term deal, even after the outfielder stated he wanted his deal to be more long-term. The NL West teams offered short-term deals due to the fact that many long-term deals in the past haven't worked out. There are many examples of teams offering 10+ year contracts, and if you asked them now, they'd probably say they regret them. Giancarlo Stanton signed a 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins. After a couple years into that deal, Miami traded Stanton to the New York Yankees. Alex Rodriguez signed a ten- year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers. Later into that contract, the Rangers traded him, also to the New York Yankees. Some other regrettable long term contracts in baseball are Albert Pujols' 10 year, $240 million contract with the Angels, and Robinson Cano's contract with the Mariners being worth the same amount over 10 years.
It's pretty clear however that times are changing, and teams have more money to spend than they used to. Bryce Harper is one of the top names in all of baseball, and was one of the most highly sought after free agent in awhile. Both sides seem to have faith in one another that this contract will be worth while for everyone. It's also worth noting again that there are no opt-outs or trade clauses in this contract, so both sides are guaranteed to be with each other for the next 13 seasons.
Harper made it clear to the teams interested in him that he wanted to be the highest paid player in the league. Harper is going to make $330 million dollars over the course of what could be the rest of his career. The contract is signaling that both sides are committed to each other for over a decade and shows that the Phillies are all in for the upcoming season and beyond.
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