After signing Bryce Harper, what's next for the Philadelphia Phillies?
Bryce Harper signed a 13-year $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies Thursday in the largest deal in Major League history. Harper also has a no-trade clause and no opt-out in his deal so in 2032 we will most likely still see Bryce Harper in the outfield for the Phillies.
It has been an unusual free agency year in the Major League Baseball with two of the top free agents Manny Machado and Bryce Harper not signing until after spring training started. Machado got a 10-year $300 million deal from the San Diego Padres and Bryce Harper just got more from the Phillies.
It is unbelievable how two of the better players in baseball did not sign until February. It would be like if LeBron James and Kevin Durant did not sign until September in the NBA.
The Phillies getting Harper puts the cherry on top for all the offseason maneuvers they made to finally get back into contention. In December, the Phillies traded for middle infielder Jean Segura and signed Andrew McCutchen. In January, they added reliever David Robertson to their bullpen. In February they traded for all-star catcher J.T. Realmuto and have now signed Bryce Harper. They also extended their ace pitcher Aaron Nola.
It is fair to question whether or not Harper is worth this big of a commitment from any team. Harper notably did not have his best season last year as he hit 34 home runs and drove in 100 runs but he only hit for .249 average and his OBP dipped from 2017. He still walks a lot and even though his 2018 was a down year by his standards he is still a dangerous hitter and will clearly be respected in a Phillies lineup that is full of big sticks.
The Atlanta Braves are the reigning NL East champions and will be hard to dethrone. But the Phillies seem primed to make a run for the playoffs and beyond. In baseball, the windows are not open for very long, but when you can spill money on players like Bryce Harper you can keep the window open a little longer to hopefully get that world series championship.