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Bryce Harper to sign with Philadelphia Phillies [report]

© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After months of speculation surrounding Bryce Harper, the top free agent in Major League Baseball, we finally have a decision. Harper has reportedly signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

According to Passan, the deal will be an MLB-record $330 million, $5 million more than the $325 million given to Giancarlo Stanton:

According to Passan, the deal is an astounding 13 years long with no opt-out clauses included:

Back on September 26 of 2018, Harper turned down the 10-year, $300 million qualifying offer that the Washington Nationals put on the table for him. Despite the amount, the move was expected, and it set up one of the most talented and young (age 26) free agents in MLB history for a massive pay day.

Some have wondered why the decision took so long, which, as Jon Heyman said, is likely due to Manny Machado’s simultaneous free agency. Machado, also 26, is the only other free agent to rival Harper in terms of quality. According to Heyman, neither Harper nor Machado wanted to sign their contract first, believing, perhaps, that they could receive a bigger payday by signing after the other.

In the end, Machado signed first. While the length and sum of Harper’s contract may worry some, his numbers, despite an astounding 70-point batting average drop from 2017 to 2018 (an even larger 87-point drop occurred from 2015 to 2016) with 169 strikeouts, are some of the best in the majors.

The 2015 MVP and 2011 Rookie of the Year has been named an All-Star in six of his seven seasons. He led the majors with 130 walks last season and hit the 100-RBI mark for the first time in his career. A career .279 hitter with a .388 on-base percentage, Harper has a yearly average of 26 home runs and 74 RBIs.


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