The Bryce Harper sweepstakes are over, and the Philadelphia Phillies are the apparent winners, landing the 2015 National League MVP who was considered the biggest name in MLB free agency.
The Phillies backed up the Brinks Truck by signing the 26-year-old, free agent outfielder who was six-time All-Star and 2012 NL Rookie of the Year. He’s agreed to a mega 13-year, $330 million deal that includes no opt-outs, ESPN’s Jeff Passan learned from sources.
Harpers ridiculous deal easily exceeds Padres’ infielder Manny Machado’s 10-year $300 million deal and surpasses Yankees’ slugger Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million contract extension that he signed with the Miami Marlins before being traded to the Bronx Bombers.
Harper, who is favored to win the NL MVP this year before signing the deal, is still in his prime. He is considered a very patient hitter with a ton of power and gets on base a lot because of his ability to draw walks. He has a respectable .279 batting average and belted 184 homers with 521 RBIs over his career.
Last season, he struggled during the first half of the season with the Washington Nationals with a .249 batting average with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs, finishing strong by batting .300 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs. He also put on a show for the home crowd winning the All-Star Homerun Derby held at Nationals Park.
The Phillies are hoping Harper’s bat, youth and star power will help them become contenders again in the NL East. Last year, they finished in third place with an 80-82 record. Looks like Citizens Bank Park will be rocking next year with Bryce and his fantastic head hair hitting the seams off the baseball.