The wait is finally over, Philadelphia. After a long free agency that had its twists and turns, pushing well into Spring Training, Bryce Harper finally put an end to it on Thursday afternoon. Phillies fans can finally breathe after a ton of speculation that Harper would spurn them to go West.
Thursday afternoon MLB Network insider Jon Heyman broke the news that Bryce Harper would be taking his talent just a few hours up I-95 and signing with the Philadelphia Phillies. For quite a few years it was known/expected that Harper wanted to be in Philly once he became a Free Agent, however it was anything but an easy signing for the franchise. Harper unquestionably took his time making a decision and it lead MANY people to believe that he may not want to be in Philly.
Bryce Harper will be signing a 13-year, $330 million deal which will be the largest contract in MLB and American professional sports history when he puts the pen to paper. The deal includes a no-trade clause and has no option for Harper to opt-out; meaning unless the contract is restructured in the future – changing those clauses, Harper will be a Phillie for the remainder of his career.
According to Harper’s agent, Harper was looking to play the rest of his career with the team he signed with and Philly had an edge there, clearly showing they’re not afraid to go long term. The deal has a yearly average of $25.4 million which is much less than some of the offers he did get. As his agent stated they received $45 million averages but with much shorter contracts. In the end, Harper wanting this team to be his last cooped with ability to hit in Citizens Bank Park are what drove him to sign with the Phillies. He will without a doubt be welcomed with open arms and Philly fans are even more excited for baseball season to start. Harper and his Phillies will be in Nationals Park April 2-3 and you can bet there will be a lot of eyes on that mini-series.