Bryce Harper will be coming to Philadelphia; Phillies ink superstar to 13-year deal

Philadelphia Phillies sign Bryce Harper
After nearly four months of dominating the Philadelphia sports headlines, the Phillies and Bryce Harper delivered some finality on Thursday afternoon. Per multiple sources, the two have agreed to a 13-year deal worth $330-million. The deal does not include an opt-out clause and has not been confirmed by the club.

Long considered the favorites to ink the 26-year-old, multiple clubs jumped into the fray over the last two weeks but the Phillies offer gave Harper and his agent Scott Boras exactly what they coveted - a long term commitment that's the richest in Major League history.

The contract is the largest ever signed by a free-agent in American professional sports, trumping the 10-year, $300-million deal signed by Manny Machado last week.
The addition of Harper gives the Phillies arguably one of the top three offenses in baseball. He provides a left-handed bat with pop that manager Gabe Kapler can slot anywhere in the order from the two-to-five spot. Though he hit just .249 last season, he posted an OPS+ of 133 and hit 34 homers. In seven big league seasons, he's been an All-Star six times and won an MVP award in 2015 when he hit .330 with 42 homers and 99 RBIs.

If he stays on his current trajectory, the Phillies could have a potential future Hall of Famer roaming the outfield until 2032.

He's that good.

Along with being a perennial All-Star, the Phillies also now have a personality that can act as the face of a franchise on the upswing. An organization that spent over $430-million on talent this offseason to improve and compete in a tough NL East and ideally make a deep postseason run. A personality with swagger that'll increase ticket sales, jersey sales, and boost television ratings. He's a franchise altering player, a generational talent that has the potential to again put Philadelphia on the baseball map.

The Giants, per reports, offered 12-years at $310-million but were unwilling to match the $330-million offered by the Phils. In fact, because of the high tax rate in California, the Giants would have had to have offered more than $350 million to offset the cost of higher taxes to equal $330 million.

Boras said back in December at the Winter Meetings that the length of a contract was an important issue for Harper. Turns out, he was telling the truth.

The Phillies will likely introduce Harper at a press conference on Monday. In the meantime, tickets on the secondary market for Opening Day are already fetching triple face value.

It's the Harper impact already at work.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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