559 thoughts on “Harper Discussion

  1. I just posted this before Jim opened up a new slate of threads for the coming week….

    FWIW, Adam Lefkoe of Bleacher Reports has put it out there that Harper’s deal will be between 8-10 years at $335m. He also mentioned that a Wednesday press conference is scheduled. We’ll see….

    1. Jesse Sanchez of MLB posted late Sunday that the Dodgers, including manager Dave Roberts, met with Harper in Vegas earlier in the day.

  2. Harper and boras have to make a decision at some point or you can write off April production because he won’t be ready.
    If the dodgers are seriously involved and not just trying to sneak in with a short term deal, we’re in trouble.

  3. The Phillies put their best foot forward, including the owner flying to Las Vegas twice to meet with Harper personally. At this point, he does what he does. If some other teams gets him, then so be it. The Phillies have no reason to hang their heads.

      1. Perhaps but that would be very small consolation to a fanbase yearning for a big market club to have its face of the franchise and a formidable playoff contender. Middleton will still be embarrassed after laying down the gauntlet for the offseason and nothing “stupid” to show for it. ‘E’ for effort? No thanks.

        1. 8mark…if Middleton at this point came out and said ..”At this point, the Phillies withdraw our offer”….I would not respect him any less.

        2. If they don’t end up with MM or BH, I’m not sure what that means for the future of the franchise in terms of pursuit of top of the line free agents other than trout who obviously would be interested in coming to philly whether he resigns with angels or not.
          I don’t really see them in the running for any of next yrs top free agents

          1. sr…….did they need a lot of big name FAs between 2007 and 2011?
            Cliff Lee was the only one I can recall who had any impact….and most of his impact was 2011 and after when the core started to age and started to have injuries and decline.
            Klentak, will need to make astute trades.

            1. We had a much better core of players we developed where we didn’t need the FA. This homegrown core isn’t a good. Apples to oranges.

            2. EricD…..that is a very subjective analysis.
              Hoskins vs Howard
              Rollins vs JPC, now Segura
              Vic vs Herrera/Haseley/Moniak
              Werth vs Williams/Cutch
              Utley vs Cesar/Kingery.

              …..I will like to see how it plays out
              Try comparing the 2006 Phillies to the current squad….not the 2008 thru 2011 squad.

        3. The disappointment will be palpable, but we’ll all have to move on. Perhaps a mid season trade for a star we can sign to an extension?

      1. The Mets would be bad as well. At this point, who know? There might not be anyone; there’s a lot of bad information out there. When Gelb, Salisbury, Zoelecki, Breen report something, I’ll start to pay attention. Either way, we’ll all be glad when this is over

    1. Basically… and in the end probably isn’t going to be worth the wait. I’ll take him for sure, but after all this hoopola, he better produce, where ever he signs.

  4. I don’t the LA thing is a Boras stunt.. it never made sense the Dodgers were out on him . The tricky part here is determining what his prime is worth. For a 10/330 contract, would you assume it is 5/200 and then 5/130?

    If you look at AJ Pollocks’ most recent deal (signed at age 31 which is what Harper will by in 5 years) , he got 5/60. The risk for Harper is – is the 10 WAR/year player or a 2-3 WAR guy? If he is a 2-3 WAR guy in 5 years, he will draw a lower deal at that point, meaning he really needs to cash in these next 5 seasons

    1. It didn’t make sense to me, especially after the dodgers were able to trade off a lot of pieces to CIN. I still think the Phillies will get him. They can still push the pain of the luxury tax threshold on both the LAD and the Nats if they decide to want to jump back in. For tht life of me, I can see why LAA isn’t trying for Harper. They should if they want to keep you know who.

  5. Dodgers feel like a boras stunt to me. Bryce apparently loves LA. We wouldn’t be hearing about it now, it should just happen

  6. I have been pessimistic quite a bit throughout this ordeal, but this is the most down that I have been. When he takes a short term, high AAV deal with the Dodgers, I can’t blame Middleton. But, we are still the 3rd or 4th best team in the division, and pretending that it is not a big blow to us being a Playoff team is just a fantasy. Nick Williams, does not fill that huge hole in the middle of the lineup, and a really terrific off season from Matt Klentak, just is not good enough. I will be very sorry to lose Hinkie’s posts for 6 months, and I hope he re-considers.

  7. Two thoughts:
    1. For those who have been asking, “why hasn’t he signed yet?” The answer is Boras has been intentionally dragging his feet because he believed another big market team would jump in.
    2. I do not believe the LAD are only offering a short term contract. And I did see the Olney tweet. I believe the delay has been that the Dodgers have been debating going long term or not. They know that Boras won’t take a short deal with a high AAV.

    1. Agree….the Dodgers may also see a LTC as 7 or 8 yrs vs Phillies of 9 or 10…..in which case Harper must decide if that is long enough for him.
      My guess it will be…then sayonara.

      1. Opt outs impact it too. If Dodgers pay similar AAV but give an opt out after 3 years but Phils give an opt out after year 6, for example, then the Dodgers offer is better even if a few years shorter.

        1. That probably could be what the Dodgers may be selling to Boras and Harper.
          If they offered that opt-out benefit earlier…with an AAV of $35M…8@$280M…he may decide it is what he wants….plus he makes up a lot of the difference in monetary loss value by not talking the Phillies offer, with the LA market and TV endorsements.

        2. The issue with the Dodgers is where their current payroll sits. It is 4 million off the luxury tax level now, even after the trade with CIN. Adding a player at 33-35+million will put them is the highest bracket which they hav been preaching against doing. If they do sign BH, the real question is How long are they at the highest bracket. My guess is that it is going to stay up there.

          Rumblings were that they wanted to break the luxury tax for a certain player that might be available in 2 years

          In the end, I think it is boras driving up the price, he know the Phillies have offered 9/360. At this point, he is doing everything he can to bump up then price

          1. I remember a certain radio interview on Sirius when the host asked BH if he thought $400 million was the number he might get when he was a FA to which he responded “Don’t sell me short Bruh”

          2. The Dodger’s payroll is NOT a problem. Yes, the 2019 payroll has very little room before going over the tax, but the 2020 (and beyond) payroll has very little committed. So a long term deal that is $20m in year 1 and $50m in year 2 and 3 gets to the same spot. Then you start thinking about opt outs, Quality of life (Dodgers edge there), etc.

            I think people felt that the LAD were out because of the 2019 payroll, but I don’t think so.

  8. This seems like just another report leaked to pressure the Phillies to up their offer. The LAD’s appear to be no different than the rest of the competition. They’re all interested in a short term deal.

    Scott Boras and Bryce Harper want the most guaranteed money. John Middleton is still offering that. IMO, this is only going to draw the process out another few days.

    1. Thanks Hinkie. Nothing to worry about. Boras only has 2 cards left to play CHI & NYY or its 10/330 for BH.

  9. Will people finally say that it’s true that he doesn’t prefer/want to play in Philly? I don’t care that one report said it’s not true. The proof is in the fact that it seems like he wants anyone and everyone to get involved not named Philly.

    Who knows what happens now, I’m starting to get to the point where I say “screw him, you don’t want to play in Philly then we don’t want you either” . . . . But we need him 😒🤬

    1. Please stop with the ‘but he doesn’t want to play in Philly’ narrative. Yes, we can all agree that he prefers the west coast. Corbin and Machado both preferred the NYY. Let’s move on to the bigger question which involves Scott Boras as a super agent who can’t allow his client to take less than the most. If LAD is going to get Harper, they will have to come pretty close to 9/360. Okay?

        1. No. People here chant that number as if they know it when, in fact, it’s never been reported anywhere credible I can find. And when I questioned it I got answers like “it’s obvious” “it’s clear” “we all know this” – yeah, except we don’t. It’s like mass hypnosis.

        1. 8mark take off your Phillie colored glasses. We have a bad rep, if it’s true or not is besides the point. I went to school in Memphis, I can tell you that their perception of Philly isn’t a positive one sports wise. And that’s not an opinion that’s uncommon among non Philly people.
          There’s a reason why we have to overpay.

  10. I find it interesting that people are talking about a pillow contract for Harper. I’ve always thought that, while not likely, this was possible. Why? Because Harper did not have a good year last year, which has definitely depressed his market value to a degree. If someone was willing to pay him $35-40 M for one year, he might view this as a win-win. Tons of cash and the opportunity for a bigger long term payday before his age 27 season. Again, while not the likely outcome, this is definitely possible, especially if it’s with a team contending for a championship like the Dodgers.

    1. And he comes up out one year prior to Trout….any pillow contract for two years would be devastating to him since MT gets the notoriety, the callers and the money.
      He could take that 7/8 with an opt-out after 3 however at his age 29 season.

    2. Disagree on the pillow contract. A player should take the longest/most guaranteed contract they can get … especially with opt outs. Doing so protects them from dips in their production or aging faster than they expected.

      He could take a pillow contract, but him and boras should be smart enough to see that the winds are changing in terms of FA & player compensation. IMHO, they be fools to take anything less than the 10/330 (if true) vs a short term 40mil 1 to 2 year contract. He could get hurt one year, suck another and then where is he? He’s out a lot of money and now how’s to deal with Trout potentially on the market.

      He’d be wise to get the NYY and CHI to make their best fake interest inquires and get his butt to Clearwater 🙂

      1. Some of you are missing my point. I’m not telling you what he SHOULD do. I’m just telling you what I think he might do. Boras has done pillow contracts before with guys he thinks are undervalued and would do much better the next off season if they have a typical year. If Harper plays to a 5 or more WAR this year, his value is likely to go up, perhaps quite a bit. It’s up to the player and the agent.

  11. if there’s any person who can drag his feet longer than Boras, it’s Klentak. I say the Phillies stick to their guns and let Boras come to them for the $350M guaranteed.

    Other teams are only interested for ST deal, the Phillies can provide the max $$ for both ST and LT deals. It’s just Boras doing his thing because I’m certain that he promised Harper at least a $400M contract and since the market did not develop the way he envisions it, he’s doing all the Boras-acts to said to Bryce – “hey man, we did every trick in the books to get the most $$.”

    Boras lost the waiting game to BOS for JDM and lost to Klentak for Arrieta.

    1. And lost it with Moustakas….who actually lost money last year, and now this year.
      How some of these players stay with him is beyond me.
      The best in the game does not need him.

      1. Just read Joel Sherman who tends to report well without being someones mouth piece. The Phillies got this if BH wants the largest guaranteed contract.

        The Dodgers however would like to drive up that price if they can as there will always be FA’s down the road that need to be signed.

        1. DMAR: I agree. Harper is from Vegas, so maybe he is willing to gamble on a ST deal in the 40mil AAV range, but I believe this is doubtful. This maybe very well be the LAST FA long term deal that players ever see. The dynamics of player compensation is changing, and the players are rumbling. The fact that teams are not offering anything but short term offers is proof.

          Middleton and the FO are playing this prefectly. I believe Middleton went out to Vegas to call boras bluff. Gave him and BH a final offer. Told them to top it, and if you do, SHOW me, and I’ll top that.

          All that is left is for BH to decide if he wants to gamble on a story term high AAV vs the safety net of a 10 year guaranteed contract That might not be available the next time he hits FA.

          In the future 4 & 6 year deals will be the longest. That’s my guess. Kiss the 8+ year deals goodbye.

  12. I’ll say it clearly and unapologetically, let the Dodgers save the Phillies from making a $300m+ mistake.

    1. At some point its going to be a mistake history tells us that however he has the ability to be an MVP type player and this club at this time needs that for the next 5 seasons.

      I’m not a BH persona fan but this guy does things at the plate that no one currently in the system or on the 25 man can do and the things he does at the plate will make everyone else in the LU that much better.

    2. Agreed – I am 50/50 on the Harper signing. His numbers don’t support the contract or OF defensive metrics – nor does his potential. Also, don’t we want a player to WANT to come to Philly? Like Trout. That is why I like the players we drafted – they dream of playing for the Phillies and doing well – and do everything they can to get to CBP. Nationals never made it far with Harper and their team has been stacked the last few years. The only positive is putting butts in the seats and getting a left-handed power hitter in the middle of that line up. And all is not lost if he signs in LA – this team is good and we can still make moves in the future – we are opening a 5-year window.

    3. I think the Dodgers are trying to win the WS, they have fallen short for quite awhile. I think they would be willing to go into salary cap penalty for 1 to 3 years, in order to win it all. Having said that, I would be surprised if they went longer than that. They put out a document a while back telling their investor group, they would not do that. Guess we will know soon, but the Phillies do have to be prepared to walk away.

  13. I would like to know, Rob, how you see this team being a Playoff contender. You don’t want Harper, but I assume you want us to win. Are you seeing a trade, or Nick Williams becoming an MVP candidate? And, please, do not think I am being sarcastic, or trying to argue with you. Besides the fact that I want them to spend money, I want to win, and there is a huge hole in the middle of the lineup that Harper fills. The money means nothing. Saving the $35 Million a year helps zero. Maybe you just can’t stand Harper, that is certainly your right, but show me a Playoff team without him.

    1. I think we can all agree that the bullpen is improved. Pieces can be added at the deadline if needed.

      Now the SP, has can be improved as well. Nola Will decline slightly, Arrietta can be better near the end (stats are in his favor + better D). Now I’m expecting Pivetta to take a big step forward as the #3. I see Eickhoff making noise to be the #3 as well. He was the best pitcher in 2016, he just needs to starve off the injury bug. Efflin And VV can fight for #5 with Irvin,Del Santos providing safety.

      The offense should be improved regardless of harper. It’s not out of the question that Williams/Altherr provide .260 25 hrs 25+ doubles production. Harper is probably .280/35hr 30 doubles production. Their OBP is the big differences. Adding Segura (doubles machine), McCutchen, and Realmuto is pretty big. If you can reasonably expect Franco to improve, and Kingery to as well. It’s not a stretch to think this team
      Can make the playoffs through the WC tickets, or even the division. The division winner will come down to what team actually plays the division the best, imo that’s not always the “best” team. This is a very different year with a ultra competitive division. Phillies are no worse than 3rd currently, and should finish 2nd with a WC berth in hand. If they get Harper, no worse than 2nd, and should win division imo. This is my positive view, most likely to happen. Of course all this could crap out and finish 4th, but who likes to be negative? This team SHOULD be in the playoff hunt baring a major injuries, bad luck from the baseball gods, and lazy efforts from the players.

      1. Tac – We can win this thing with, or without, Harper. In 2008 the offense carried the team during the regular season. Hamels was only 14-10, and Nola matches up with him. The rest of the current rotation is far superior to Eaton, Kendrick, and Myers. The bullpen had the incredible Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, and a bunch of journeymen who all had career years.
        If the Phillies do not get Harper, they should offer the “Stupid” money to Kimbrel. For my money, Dominguez, Neris, Robertson, Kimbrel, Arano, Alvarez, Morgan, and Ramos would be the best bullpen in baseball.
        With Harper, they win with hitting, and without him, they win with pitching.

        1. Offering stupid $$ to Kimbrel is a colossal mistake. It is like the insurance advertisement throwing your $$ into the Hudson River.

          And the 2008 WS Champ Phillies won due to offensive production of Rollins-Shane- Utley-Howard-Werth-Pat (these are 6 legit run producing bats). It helps that Lidge has a perfect year and Hamels emerged as a star. But the success of mid-2000s Phillies is with the bats, not pitching.

          And I have to repeat — spending stupid $$ to Kimbrel is a colossal mistake.

          1. While I agree that Kimbrel wants much more than he is worth (and they probably shouldn’t even think of signing him), the 2008 team was a lot more than met the eye. On the surface, it was a team that bludgeoned the competition, but scratch a little farther and there are some other things they did really well. First, they were an excellent fielding team. They also were a great base running team coached by the incomparable Davy Lopes. Lastly, at the end of the year, they were awesome out of the bullpen. Once they were ahead after 5 or 6 innings, they shut the door again and again. And this type of model is now being implemented throughout baseball and the Phillies themselves have already invested immensely in their bullpen.

          2. Kimrel also had a lot of mileage in that arm. He is already a decline that’s why BOS doesn’t even consider to resign him. If you think that paying stupid $$ to Kimbrel because he can be the 2008 Brad Lidge, you may need a reality check.

            Spending stupid $$ to either Machado and/or Harper is acceptable because these players are playing through their peak years (at least 4-5 peak years). While Kimbrel is on the decline. I will not be surprised if Robertson will have a better WAR/$ than Kimbrel throughout the life of his contract.

    2. Of course, I want the Phillies to win the WS. If the Phillies sign Harper and they don’t in the next 3-5 years, there goes $300m. I hope I am wrong. I also want to see likes of Cozens, Williams, Haseley, and Moniak put up some impressive numbers in the next several years. Can you get some pretty good other ballplayers for $300m.

  14. I wonder if LA Dodgers are trying to drive up the price, so they can sign Trout in 2-years. Dodgers don’t need Harper right now – if so, smart move.

    1. That’s not really a smart move – because driving up the price on Harper just sets an even higher bar for Trout, who will want an even higher contract. Even if this was somehow actually their goal – that just means Trout’s salary expectations will be even higher.

      1. Smart for LA – limits the Phillies. Everyone is going to try sign Trout – even if it is 500 million. Doesn’t matter.

  15. Remember Bluto (John Belushi) in Animal House? The toga party scene where he’s walking up the steps, grabs the guitar from the annoying musician singing, “I gave my love a cherry….” and smashes it against the wall? That’s how many of us feel right now with all these comments about how we don’t need Harper, let him go somewhere else, we’ll be fine. To that I say, “Hey go pour yourself a beer. Don’t cost nothin’.”

    1. 8mark – part of me wishes that he goes elsewhere and Cozens and Quinn emerge. Kingery and Franco take steps forward and this team is rolling. If Cozens hit .240 with 30 doubles and 30 hrs and a .815 OPS would you take that over signing Harper for 10/330? It’s unlikely at this point that they won’t get Harper, but as a phan of rebuilds, it would be sweet to save the payroll flexibility, and show Boras/Harper they didn’t need him.

      I wanted MM for years,but then last years playoffs happened. I think Bh is better for that Chase Utley type feel (not the same but as close as will get) and his potential is higher than MM. Mm is more consistent, BH will have the biggest stat seasons of the 2, but also the lowest.

      Let it be over. Middleton has laid then gauntlet, no other teams are topping his offer. So BH better be for real. A lot of money to allocate for 1 player, if he’s not producing were expected.

      1. I don’t care if we pay BH $30M or $40M per year. We have had years with dead money on the payroll from Matt Harrison and had to watch the Ryan Howard money play out as his career wound down.

        Sign BH and compete. If other players emerge, he’s not blocking them. It would be delusional to not sign BH because you think your young OF will become All Stars. If they develop, it will be partially because the line up is stacked and they are getting opportunities to hit some pitches.

        If the Phillies are gonna be great, it starts in trades and free agency. It looks to me like they’re going all in. I am impressed with the other moves they have done so far (Segura, McCutchen, Realmuto, Robertson and don’t see them holding back on BH. And, I still want more. Maybe a pitcher.

        The Phillies can afford BH and the market seems to be bringing him our way. I hope this thing wraps up by the Wednesday press conference per the Bleacher Report.

  16. Looking at baseball reference, the Dodgers have a lot of $ coming off the board after this season- Martin, Hill, Ryu make a combined $56 million. Only issue they may find in setting their roster is how long Pollock can stay at CF but no issues for this season.

    Dodgers were not a tax team in 2018, so even if they went above it this season, they can still be close to it or below in 2020 even with a Harper signing.

    If LA is committed to a huge short deal for Harper- say 4/190… they can easily make it an 8 year deal with an opt out he will likely take. example- 8/300.

    1. LAD is preparing for Arenado and nobody else. That’s why I said before that Nolan Arenado is lock to be a Dodger next year. LAD will move Turner to 1B (last year of his contract) and Bellinger will play LF.

      If LAD will going to make a move for a FA – it is most likely Keuchel due to health concerns on Kershaw.

      Middleton can also front load the contract if he wants to. I’ve been suggesting this idea since the beginning. At the end of the day, players will look at the total guaranteed and the Phillies just have the better financial flexibility versus the Dodgers so Middleton can win the tug-of-war for Harper and Magic knows this.

  17. There is another factor impacting Harper signing with a California based team. At his salary level, he will have to pay 13.3% of all income earned in California vs 3.07% in PA. That means a 330,000,000 deal would be cost Harper almost $33,000,000 if applying simple rough estimated calculation. Obviously athletes have to file state income tax returns in every state they “do business in” and certain states have reciprocity rules.

    However, CA is the highest state tax in the country. You can bet that Phillies and Boris both know that.

    1. Hoopthereitis….”he will have to pay 13.3% of all income earned in California vs 3.07% in PA.”…..I think it is for only 81 games, not his full salary.

      1. Romus:

        You are correct about 81. However, there are other rules that govern state taxation of income like the reciprocity, etc. sometimes you receive credit from the non home state and have to pay the difference. I did not want to get too technical. The point is a California residence will cost him millions of dollars. It is material to the negotiation of the deal enough so that Boris has utilized this in the best when negotiating for other clients.

        Also, it is not just the number of games, it is based on how many days he spends as a resident in the state.

        1. Oh yes…not disputing you….he will lose money for sure.
          But I assume his thoughts, if he actually does sign with them, he will make up the difference in endorsements.

  18. Machado is said to be an East coast guy and loves to play for the Yankees but signed to play for the rebuilding Padres for most money….

    Patrick Corbin is said to be lock to be a Yankee with his family joining the recruiting but signed with the Nationals for most money…..

    So why will anyone think that Boras and Harper do the opposite? Boras is synonymous to $$ in baseball world. Harper will get the most $$ and it’s not even a question.

  19. Here’s what appears to have happened:

    * The Phillies still are offering the biggest contract/most guaranteed money.

    * No other team is even close the guaranteed money Middleton is offering.

    * All of the competing teams are sniffing around, and hoping Boras/Harper take a short term deal. That’s not going to happen.

    * The LAD’s weekend meeting is mostly them doing due diligence because (their biggest rival) the SFG’s have done the same, and made the same type of offer.

    * The Dodgers want to see the Phillies pay a higher price to make it more difficult for the Phils to add additional pieces this season and beyond.

    The bottom line is … nothing still has really changed. John Middleton is shopping with stupid money. All other teams are bargain hunting.

    One last thing … the Phillies have finally leaked their side of what is going on through Todd Zolecki. According to Zolecki, Boras wants 375 million dollars. The Phillies have a walk away number.
    If I were the Phillies, I would call some other clubs to ask about a bat through trade (maybe the Mariners on Mitch Haniger). Then leak the story.

      1. As Mr. Dreamer has been saying … Boras wants to make sure Harper breaks Stanton’s 325 million dollar contract. So far, Middleton hasn’t gone there. I think I’d give them more guaranteed money (as much as 330 million) in exchange for more team friendly opt outs (after years 5 and 7).

        1. I bet the opt out is one of the biggest negotiating issues. I’m sure Harper and Boras are pushing for like 3 years (maybe 4) and the Phillies are probably at around 5. Just guessing here, but I suspect they want Harper to have a chance to hit the market again before he’s played his age 30 season.

  20. I love the comments that other teams jumping in isn’t real . . . If that was the case wouldn’t Harper/Boras jump on the Phillies offer now? Btw you don’t fly to meet with someone just to scare another team. They have better things to do at this point in the year. If we want him we are going to overpay and by a lot . . . Why? BECAUSE PHILLY ISNT HIS 1st, 2nd or even 3rd choice. That’s blantently obvious.

    1. “BECAUSE PHILLY ISNT HIS 1st, 2nd or even 3rd choice. That’s blantently obvious”. —- I don’t see any justifiable reason why this is true. It might be your opinion, but it doesn’t mean it’s the truth. If Harper doesn’t really intend to play for the Phillies —- he could just simply shut down Middleton and company from Day 1.
      Imagine a girl being courted by a guy. If girl doesn’t like the guy, she will let him known from the get go so she doesn’t need to waste any of her time with him.

      1. You honestly don’t think he’s rather play in San Fran, SD or LA? I’m not saying those teams are going to offer but if all things were equal money wise, he would jump on their offers over ours. That’s pretty obvious.

        1. @Eric – most athletes like to play for the big cities – NY, BOS, LA,SF, etc. Free agency is getting financial security and not about choosing your favorite city to play. Players are complaining of possible collusion from owners because a lot of players are not getting paid and one of your best players will turn down big $$ because he likes to play for his most favorite city?? Also, as a travelling athlete, if your decision is highly based on your favorite city to reside, then you need to look for a different profession.

        2. Also, MLB players (or athletes in general) don’t need to hire agents, Boras in particular, if they just want to play for their favorite city. The moment the players hired an agent, they will look for the most $$ — hopefully, this address your concern that players just choose their favorite city over $.

            1. ok, you just sound like you’re doing a double talk.

              do you believe that Harper will choose the Phillies if Middleton offer the most $$? If you do, then Harper’s preference where to play is moot.

              most outlets (and GMs know this) believe that the Phillies has the most $ to offer, so i don’t understand why you keep saying that Philly is not his 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice if he knows that the Phillies can offer the most $. You’re talking like Jon Heyman.

            2. I’m saying that I think it needs to be a record contract, an overpay. But to be honest, at this point who knows? I want him tho. I would go as high as 350.

            3. @Eric – i think I’m starting to get you and we are in the same page. I agree, $350M/10 yr or $400M/12 yr should get it done. Base on the various rumors, it appears that Middleton is more in the Stanton range at $325Mish that’s probably why Boras is still trying to do his tricks to force Middleton to cough up additional $25M at least.

  21. Why is it so important if Philly is Bryce Harper’s favorite city. Or his second or third choice. We’ve been down this road before. If a guy hires Scott Boras, and risks injury, and passes on a LTX to reach the open market, he’s not picking a team based on location, teammates, favorite team growing up, loves the food at the new ballpark, etc. He wants THE MOST GUARANTEED MONEY.
    Look at the history of free agency. Outside of Cliff Lee (who took a slight discount) and players near the end of their careers chasing rings, they all want the money. Just this winter, Patrick Corbin was supposedly a sure bet to become a Yankee because he grew up a Yankee fan in upstate NY. Charlie Morton wanted to either stay in Houston or pitch close to his in-laws in Delaware. And, Manny Machado was looking to stay on the east coast or play with his brother-in-law and BFF in Chicago. They went 0 for 3. Corbin signed with the Nationals, Morton picked the Rays, and Machado is in SD. Why ? Because they all prefer big bank accounts to everything else.
    Boras/Harper have big egos. They want to end this with a record breaking deal. Boras played this same game last year with JD Martinez and Jake Arrieta. The news of the Dodgers meeting with Harper will probably only serve to push back a signing by a few extra days.

      1. you’re probably referring to @potus than the Phillies. From the time the Phillies tear it down and do a slow rebuild, they don’t care anymore if people like them or not.

        1. was talking about the fans who dont want Harper because they dont think he wants to play here. nothing to do with the Phillies organization.

  22. Why does anybody think a guy who has hit under .250 2 of the past 3 seasons is worth even close to this kind of money. Let’s move on and add a couple more pieces and we are ready to contend.

    1. So … you’re just going to ignore the fact that Harper is just 26 YO, has a career .900 OPS, is a former MVP, has outstanding numbers at CBP, will almost assuredly see that BA you referenced rise significantly when MLB outlaws the shift (which may happen soon), and will help sell out the stadium/make the team relevant again.
      C’mon, I understand people are getting annoyed that this is dragging out so long, but the reward should be (though never guaranteed to) be worth the wait.

    2. You can chose to believe that Bryce Harper might be overrated. But MLB considers him one of the best players and a perennial MVP contenders which means he is probably good. And he is only 26 yo so he hasn’t peaked yet.

      You can agree or disagree with the value of analytics but GMs don’t use an isolated stat (AVE in your argument) to evaluate a player. Owners also consider the impact in the bottom line (net income) when handing contracts to players since these players can function as their best marketing arm. Harper’s impact in the cable share, merchandise and ticket sales, etc are not measured by MLB stats the most owners consider.

    3. “Let’s move on and add a couple more pieces….” That cracks me up. What pieces? Can’t keep count of comments to the effect of, well we don’t need Harper but give no specific names of alternative players. Why waste your time even commenting?

      1. I agree that there are no replacements for Harper available. I think people are just frustrated with all the near signings and then disappointments of bh. Saying “move on and get other pieces” is an emotional defense mechanism against disappointment. It’s like when disappointed when the prettiest girl in school turns you down for a date and you say. “ I didn’t really like her anyway”

  23. I think it’s a good sign that Middleton won’t comment until after it’s over. Just my opinion. What words would serve his purpose?

  24. There are guys who don’t post too often on this site have things to say that are worthwhile only to get ambushed and bullied by the “know it all authorities”. That’s the main reason that we don’t chime in as often as you constant posters who obviously don’t have much of a life.

    Eric D gives an opinion about the Phillies not being Harper’s first, second, or third choice and he immediately gets trashed. Harper is treating the Phillies like a kid who is choosing college.
    He is using them as his “safety school” in case all of the others don’t accept his application.

    Okay, know it all authorities and experts, go ahead and attack me. I’m speaking up for the casual posters who follow the site religiously because we love the Phillies, too. We have our opinions but don’t like getting pounded as if we don’t know what we’re talking about.

    1. With all do respect Ciada we’re all big boys and girls here. Yes from time to time an ambush as you say does occur but that’s the point isn’t it?

      Thus far I don’t see anything out of line.

      Kuko is beating me up over on another thread and on another we’re agreeing. That’s how it goes it sometimes.

      1. Yes, yes, yo!! We love our Phillies to the point that we become too emotional. Sometimes we have bad days and we said things based on impulse. I agree and disagree with a lot of posters here and I learned a lot in return.

        We love the site and most posters help Jim to moderate below the belt attacks to keep the integrity of the site.

    2. Hopefully this turns out like JD Martinez who was using Boston as his safety net, ended up there and excelled. Everyone now forgets how long it took. Clearly Harper would prefer the dodgers. The question is whether money or location is more important. History says free agents take the money.
      Harper May or may not be different
      Hopefully we all find out before we are too old to care.

    3. ciada…..look at v1again,
      …he gets beat up and pummeled almost every time he posts….but he is no worse for the wear,
      he still looks like a good-looking guy from his avatar picture.

    4. Like I said the other day. We’re all strangers here. With a few exceptions, nobody really takes note of who says what other than his point on a particular subject. No need to be shy. Say what you want. If you get hammered for it, it’s nothing personal. Me and a few others like to hear ourselves talk sometimes, so to speak. I’ve been attacked numerous times mainly because I post regularly. Comes with the territory. It doesn’t ruin my day.

      1. 100% this ^^

        None of this is personal. Critique of a prospect or someone’s view is just a thought to discuss. None of this is personal.

    5. I appreciate the support but I didn’t feel attacked. I’ve has several takes on here that people didn’t like . . . i admit when i’m wrong.

  25. ciada – We all have our opinions, and express them. People, who don’t agree, often attack. I get attacked regularly on my belief in the “Eye test”.
    On the “Phillies aren’t my first choice” thing, how do we know that Boras hasn’t choreographed that whole thing? He knew that the Phillies had the most money to offer. If every FA signed in their favorite city to live, San Diego and Tampa Bay would be perennial world series contenders.
    I’m not going to attack you, or Eric D., but I may “strongly disagree” with you on some points. Now watch people jump on me for mentioning the “eye test”.

    1. I still go lot by the eye test. Analytics are nice, but they aren’t foolproof. They’ve made their way into my everyday work life, so I can personally attest. You have to mix both, sometimes throwing in a “gut” feeling or too as well (ducking from the thrown tomatoes) … and I know I’ll get ripped for this… but bunting still had its place in baseball, and I can’t wait for the whiplash reaction for it to make its way back. Don’t care who disagrees, imo that a major leaguer should be able to do so if the situation called for it. Shameful that the skill has died off.

    2. I still go lot by the eye test. Analytics are nice, but they aren’t foolproof. They’ve made their way into my everyday work life, so I can personally attest. You have to mix both, sometimes throwing in a “gut” feeling or too as well (ducking from the thrown tomatoes) … and I know I’ll get ripped for this… but bunting still had its place in baseball, and I can’t wait for the whiplash reaction for it to make its way back. Don’t care who disagrees, imo that a major leaguer should be able to do so if the situation called for it. Shameful that the skill has died off.

      1. *has

        Don’t worry Eric, you could be in the boat i am, I don’t get attack becuse posters just ignore me 🙂 count your blessings!

    3. I still go lot by the eye test. Analytics are nice, but they aren’t foolproof. They’ve made their way into my everyday work life, so I can personally attest. You have to mix both, sometimes throwing in a “gut” feeling or too as well (ducking from the thrown tomatoes) … and I know I’ll get ripped for this… but bunting still had its place in baseball, and I can’t wait for the whiplash reaction for it to make its way back. Don’t care who disagrees, imo that a major leaguer should be able to do so if the situation called for it. Shameful that the skill has died off.

      Eric don’t worry .. I don’t get attacked becuse
      People just ignore me 🙂

  26. Todd Zolecki just tweeted (Hinkie alert!) that while the Dodgers jumped into the mix, the Phillies still have the biggest offer….and that this may be over soon (whatever that means). But coming from a local beat reporter, that’s significant.

  27. So we have offered? The radio (Mike Miss) is making it seem like Middleton hasn’t offered and if he has it hasn’t been close to 300.

    1. Don’t believe for a second that it’s not close to 300 or over 300 million between 8-10 years. Mike Miss has no idea.

      1. Well I mean he must have some type of info to say that. He seems to think we are playing with fire and might get burnt.
        Offer 350m/10 opt out after 4 and 6.

  28. I think i have come around to DMAR’s thinking if Harper moves onto the Dodgers….go out and get Nick Castellanos from the Tigers for one of our OFers and a pitcher.
    The guy will go to LF and hit great at CBP, while Cutch can head over to RF .
    He is a FA after this season so the Tigers may not be interested in giving him a $85/95M contract over 5/6 years.

        1. CalDrmr’s 702 source post this afternoon one of Harper’s family members, who frequents Dodger games out there….is pushing him for the Dodgers. But Harper will make up his own mind.

  29. Here we are, Tuesday February 26. Day 120 of Harper’s Bizarre. And today, the Phillies – and ONLY the Phillies – have a longterm megadeal on the table, by all indications from credible sources. I do agree with Joe Giglio who was harping on the point last night that the Phillies must get this done and not try to win the deal and beat Boras. I think 10/$350m should get it done. If not, and Harper were to sign elsewhere for whatever reason and whatever short term deal, then Middleton would have questions to answer. I don’t believe it comes to that. But may it mercifully end today.

    1. Been hearing, one of the I am sure many hang-ups, is the year of the opt-out…..Harper wants after three…Phillies want something similar to Machado’s…after five.

      1. this is what is driving me crazy about the situation/ split the difference and say 4. what is this, a contest of prime numbers?

        1. sr…he apparently wants to come out again a year after Trout……that seems to be the reason he wants it at the third year. IMO…hust give it to him and hope for the best for three years…if no WS appearances in the next three years ….then begone with him.

          1. I think the Phillies are right to hold to the 5 years before opt out is granted. Again patience must rule the day and we don’t know what we don’t know.

            1. DMAR…I have come around to your earlier thinking.
              Tigers do not want to pay Nick C. $100M over 6 years starting next season, Bobby Avila wants to move him….offer Nick Williams and a pitcher and put him in LF…Cutch over to RF.
              He turns 27 soon…and ready for a major break out IMO.
              Plays a serviceable LF…at least better than Rhys.
              Phillies can save the Harper money for pitching years down the road.

            2. As a possible fall back option Romus it’s something they should consider. Those that try to kill him for his defense don’t truly understand how bad defensive metrics are.

              They surely don’t understand park square footage and how shifting a player to a smaller park would improve said metrics.

              Is Nick C gold glove of course not he’s a corner OF with corner OF offensive production.

            3. Romus, DMAR,
              Totally onboard with this. I’m fine with BH but I’ve preferred a more reasonable length and size of contract with some other strong OF. I’ve been a Nick C fan since he came up at 3B so he’d be a great fit. (Btw, the fact that he played 3B for some years builds case that he is not going to be a hack in corner OF even if not great defensively). …I’ll also repeat that I am bullish on many young Phils improving this year! I think Quinn will bust out this year.

      2. I’d give him opt outs at

        6,7,8,&9. Front load the deal.
        Phillies get options also at 6&8.
        I’d throw in 4 for him, but it’s unlikely he’d want to stop playing with Trout by then 🙂

        1. He can get the same with the Dodgers….high front loaded years, and where his preference is anyway.
          Lets face the facts….if he wanted to be here…he would have the guaranteed highest Phillies stamped bi-monthly checks already direct-deposited to go into his bank account…starting from last month.

          1. Romus – That’s blasphemy saying that he wants to play somewhere other than Philly and that this isn’t his preference!!! How could you ever say that?!?!? ; )

            1. EricD….hah.
              I know.
              I do think most people know that…but try to convince themselves he will grow to love playing in Philly, with a bag full of money in his wheel -barrow headed to his favorite bank.
              I guess the next move will be Middleton’s.

            2. I have no doubt that if he comes here and preforms (and wins) he’ll love it in Philly. I’ve never said that he hated it here, just that he would rather play elsewhere. Don’t get why people get so up in arms about it. This is also why I believe we need to overpay to land him.

      3. This is actually good news. It’s a “tell” in the Phillies favor. If the hang up is the # of opt out years, that means he’s not willing to gamble on a short term deal, and favors having the Long term guaranteed money vs a ST high AAV (even if it means making less) Similar thought process Machado had.

        So basically the dodgers are no threat, it’s all shenanigans , or any team with a ST offer for that matter.

        The Phillies are absolutely bidding against themselves IMHO. If not, the number of opt outs wouldn’t be a hang up.

        It will get done soon. Middleton is just weaving through how much he’s willing to let BH have his cake, and how much he’ll let him eat it.

        1. Here’s why they are a threat. They can pay him a ton on a shorter term deal where he would be a FA around 29-30 where he can go out there and get another deal after Trout sets the market (Which is why he wants an opt out at 3 as Romus said). You can argue that he would be better off betting on himself, yes risky but it could end up being more reward money wise. Also he should make more in endorsement deals being in LA.

          1. Eric, I see that side of it, but imo, I don’t believe he is willing to take the risk of that comes with a ST high AAV vs the security of LT guaranteed money. The only thing athletes love more than money, is guaranteed money. NFL players are so envious of the MLB in this regard. Harper could have a few bad years for whatever reason, and significantly lower his AAV on the next deal. Also, baseballs economics may change drastically By then, as it already looks like it is. This could be the last of the 10 year guranteed contracts. That alone would make it historic as well.

        2. I agree, Tac3. If the opt outs are the hang up, then yes it bodes well for the Phillies. Give it to him the 3 year opt out. Trout will be here by then. Harper won’t want to leave. The Phillies need to be careful they don’t push the issue so he decides to take a shorter term deal with essentially the same money early on. Get it done, Johnny!

      4. Yesterday I said I suspected that what I thought the issue would be (3 years versus 4 or 5) and, it seems this exactly what is going on. Boras wants a 3 year opt out and the Phillies want it to be 4 or 5. If I’m the Phillies I give it to him. In 3 years they may have other objectives anyway because there are and will be a lot of potential moving pieces.

        My guess? They get it done and settle on a 4 year opt out with more up front money. It sounds like they are really down to brass tacks now anyway.

        1. Below is a contract structure that could be a win-win for both sides.

          When I did the math it came out to 10 years and $350 million. It gives Harper a ton of up front money ($37 M AAV for first 4 years), two reasonable opt out periods, a very general second phase ($38 M AAV) after the first opt out (to incentivize him to stay) and a fair concluding 3 years ($29.33 M AAV) when he should be on the downside of his career but when he might want to still opt out if he’s having a HOF career to that point (ages 33-35).

          Y1-$36M Y2-$37M Y3-$37M Y4-$38M OPT OUT Y5-$38M Y6-38M Y7-$38M OPT OUT Y8-$33M Y9-$30M Y10-$25M

            1. It’s a pretty fair deal for both sides and the second phase of the contract finishes when he is age 32. If he doesn’t want that – screw it – move on, and be opportunistic. Somebody WILL take their money sooner or later. Harper isn’t Mike Trout and they have to keep reminding themselves of that.

  30. So give him 3 years for the opt out. If we can’t convince him, through winning and team chemistry, to stay here, that’s ok. I will take the 3 years to try. Meanwhile, he makes us better. All the rules may be different anyway, and, frankly, I will care about 2022 when it gets here.

    1. matt13……..but he wants to beat Mike Trout’s deal it appears from the rumors I heard.
      If he opt-outs after three…….then do the Phillies begin again to try to negotiate a new contract with Boras and him?
      This contract is ended once he declares to opt-out…he is a free agent again.
      Are the Phillies fans and the FO ready to go thru this again….but hopefully with Trout in Philly however.

      1. Except he won’t beat Mike Trout’s deal because Trout is a better player and will get paid like it.

  31. Keep in mind that Machado got a 5th year opt out. Boras wants to beat that. Perhaps the Phillies offer the 4th year but I can’t allow the 3rd yr opt out to break the deal, after ALL this time and effort in negotiating.

    1. I think Boras will cave on the 3rd year opt out and it will become a 4th year opt out, but the Phillies are going to have to pay for the privilege, and I think they will.

  32. I’d get him to say what he wanted in the opt outs and other contract details. Then I’d give it to him. Ok, that part is done and dusted.

    Then, we talk money. 340…350….360…375. I don’t care. Sign it now.

    Oh, by the way, if you want a 3 year opt out, so do we.

  33. Romus – Tigers Nick C. is a premiere bat for sure.
    However, his defense at 3B was so poor that they
    moved him to OF where his D is pretty much just
    as bad. He’d be an upgrade, probably, over Hoskins
    but not much. If the NL had a DH, then it might work.

    1. ciada….agree he is not a Gold Glove candidate for sure….but he does have better speed than Rhys had out there….and assume just as strong an arm since he played third base thru the minors.
      But the key to the defense is up the middle…starting with the catcher, shortstop..and then 2nd and CF… and that has taken a significant uptick from last year.

  34. I’m not convinced that an opt out after 3 or 4 years is t better than 5 from the Phils standpoint. By year 5, he could be showing decline and decide to opt in which I think is the Phils worst fear. I don’t think years 8-10 of this deal are going to be team friendly by any stretch. I’d ideally want 4 years, by 30 he can move on and likely get a decent offer from a west coast team.

    1. Harper will be 31 yo by Year 5 — he might already reached his peak and start to plateau and eventually decline, but it will still be a productive 31 yo Harper.

  35. The Cataldi info (I normally disregard what he has to say but in this case, it sounds like he’s heard something credible) suggests that the yrs/money part is done @ 10/$330. Sounds good to me. I find it difficult to believe that one year difference in the opt out would break a deal here. More money up front to make it 4 or 5? That’s fine as well.

    1. I’d want a mutual 4 as a best case scenrio. 3 is a lot of drama imo … but with Moniak and Haseley coming on,an opt out at 3 might not be so bad. It really should be 4. You can bid your time for the prospects to replace him (if they develop) on the bench or if the DH comes to the NL.

      To me it is basically a done deal. What is 1 more year to Harper? Sounds like he wants to match the high AAV of a ST but also have the security of the last 10 year LT guaranteed contract … greedy as hell. He better produce after all this

      1. Tac3…as Hinkie has posted…the end game for the Phillies is Trout…..and I believe that is also the end game for Harper….trying to at least equal or in Boras’ case, beat Trout’s next contract.

  36. Harper/Boras are looking for record breaking guaranteed money. John Middleton (knowing the value Harper would bring to this franchise both on and off the field) should just trade greater guaranteed money for more favorable team options. The proposal catch posted just above this makes sense. Front load a 10 year deal. Give Harper large enough AAV’s early on to offset the short term deals being offered by the LAD’s and SFG’s.
    Most likely, if/when the Phillies beat Stanton’s 325 million dollars, this finally gets wrapped up.

    I also think there is a lot of pressure on both sides. Boras has probably promised Harper record money. The rest of MLBPA is relying on Harper to reset the market for future FA’s. On the other hand, MLB owners have obviously been colluding (to some degree) over the past couple of years to hold the line on (maybe even drive down) players’ salaries. Those owners don’t want to see Middleton bidding against himself.
    I trust Middleton. He’s a smart business guy. He is very eager to not only win again, but to really make this team as relevant as any team in baseball, nationally. And … to make this team as relevant as the Eagles and 76ers, locally.

    1. I don’t like front loading the deal. I see how that counters the potential LA Dodgers short term deal, but I don’t like BH making lesser money in later years.

      The players signing contracts after him will be making ever increasing amounts of money, making BH think he is underpaid at some point.

      A front loaded contract increases the risk that he opts out in later years.

      Rather than front loading, increase total value of contract. 350.

      1. Actually thinking many fans….do not want him here after 4/5 years…that is the impression i am getting…especially with Trout out there.

        1. Buddy told me harper put in an order of all red cleats at Underarmour, he knows someone who fulfills Underarmour shipments. Take with a grain of salt, but very interesting

          1. Well, he does have a line of merchandise with UnderArmour, that I see. I believe it. I also believe that he ordered customized bats with Phillies colors that are still sitting in a warehouse somewhere.

  37. Romus, let’s look down the road. At the end of 3 years, Trout either will have become a FA, and if he does, we get him, no matter the cost, or he stayed with the Angels. In addition, one of Haseley or Moniak, or both, have made the Majors and are good players, or we know what we have, and need OF help. We have enjoyed 3 years of success on the field, and all the rules are different regarding FA. We may not want or need Harper then. Part of the reason we want him now as much as we do, or I do, is I want us re-established as one of the premier teams. I want to win, and act like a big market team. If Trout had stayed in Anaheim, we can always outbid everyone for Harper again. Or, go elsewhere in FA. What difference does it make if Harper opts out after 3 or 4 years? We need to win long before then.

    1. matt13…i get your reasoning and agree.
      With Harper the chances of winning are exponentially increased.
      Time to contend for the play-offs into September is now.

  38. “Are we there yet”

    Just sign already. Jeez. Now I find it pretty annoying that Harper wants to be out Trouts next contract! It’s not even finalized yet … neither is his own contract, smh. It is speculation, but it is probably true if he wants to opt out after 3.

    I’ve never seen anyone so allergic to money.

  39. Another reason that it does not matter if Harper opts out after 3 years or 4 years. Mike Trout is much better. Whether he re-signs with the Angels or he signs year, Harper is not worth more than Trout. So let that be some one else’s problem. Let’s see how good we are the next 3 years. Keep in mind that the FO is not done with Harper signing. I believe that now, or at the deadline in July, a SP will be added. There are still refinements to be made in the BP also. So, sign him, let him opt out after 3 years, win the Division all 3 years, and let’s see how far we can get in the Playoffs.

    1. I don’t feel that much differently about this. If you told me today that Bryce Harper signed a 3 or 4 year overpay contract with the Phillies, I’d be fine with that. The more it is front loaded, the more Harper will be incentivized to opt out, which isn’t the worst thing. The worst thing is a contract he agrees to that pays him like $40 per year in years 8 through 10. That’s not good.

  40. I think a lot of people here aren’t properly assessing the value of an opt out. Say the Phils are offering Bryce a 300 million contract. They aren’t doing it because they think he is worth that. They are doing it because there is a 50% chance he is worth at LEAST that. So they may have calculated the reasonable range of outcomes as Bryce being worth between 100-500 million in value. If you eliminate the top say 25% scenario where he is worth $400-$500 million it means the range of outcomes is now $100-$400 million with a median value of $250 million. In this scenario the opt out would be worth $50 million. Obviously i’m using rounded numbers but my guess is an opt out is worth at least 25 million.

    Or since this is a prospect site say we have a top prospect like Medina come up and he has in his contract that he gets to leave after 3 years if he is worth an average of 3 WAR per season. Everyone would lower their overall value of him because you lose out on all that upside of cheap years of control.

    1. Boss, you are way smarter than me and many here, I suppose. My brain hurts after reading your post above.

    1. On a positive note … this Arenado contract may result in a Phillies/Harper deal sooner (maybe by the end of today) because Middleton now knows Arenado got the opt out after year 3, and JD Martinez got his opt out after year 2.
      Maybe the two sides can come up with a convoluted deal with opt ins/opt outs/swell opts like the contract Boras invented for Yusei Kikuchi with the Mariners.

      1. Or is it possible that it invites another team to jump back into the mix. FWIW say the Dodgers or Giants or Cardinals were eyeing a possible Arenado as a FA after this season

        With him out of play do they would they try to make a splash on Harper.

        1. DMAR, you could say the same for the Phillies being one such team interested in Arenado next year. So, all the more incentive to go ahead and finish things off with Bryce now.

          1. Giving this some more thought:

            It’s true Arenado is getting an opt out after 3rd year.
            However, I can see the Phillies making the argument that Arenado is getting a shorter term deal that will guarantee him less money than the Phillies are offering Harper. Arenado will also be 30 YO at the time of his opt out. The Phillies will say the Manny Machado deal is a better comp for a Harper deal because they are the same age, and are both signing 10 year FA contracts. Machado got his opt out after year 5. In the end, Boras and Middleton should settle on 330 million guaranteed dollars over 10 years, with an opt out after 4 years (one year later than Arenado, but one year sooner than Machado). That would allow Harper to sign the biggest deal in American sports history, and would allow him to opt out at age 30 (the same age as Arenado).

          2. 8 you have to entertain the notion that he really doesn’t wasn’t to play here so there is a line (despite the stupid money comment) Middleton has to be careful not to cross.

            I personally like the way he is playing this. Stay tight lipped stay out of the media don’t put forth any deadlines or take it or leave it vibes and let the chips fall where they may.

            yeah I’ll be disappointed if we don’t land him but I’m seeing signs this could still be a really fun team to watch.

            1. I don’t buy the Harper hates Philly thing. He prefers the west coast. But money is one thing the Phillies have plenty of. Let it do what it does best – neutralizing preferences.

      2. Hinkie….looks like the players may strike in three years if the new CBA negotiations do not work out as they want.
        The three year opt-outs may be the current trend

  41. Boss – I would break it down;
    1) $40 m
    2) $40 m
    3) $30 m
    4) $30 m
    opt out
    5) $45 m
    6) $40 m
    7) $30 m
    8) $30 m
    opt out
    9) $25 m
    10) $25 m
    10 years – $335 million.

    1. Wawa -let me give you an absolute best case Scenario for Harper using Barry Bonds career Arch so everyone could see what we could give up in future value by having an early opt-out (Harper and Bonds each only had one 9+ WAR season through age 26 so it’s not as far fetched as you might think). I’ll have us paying 35 million a season to keep the math simple and use a fairly stanard 8 million per WAR (Wins above a Replacement level ) as to what a win is worth on the open market.

      1) Salary: 35M WAR: 7.8 Actual Value: 62.4 Million Surplus Value: 27.4M
      2) Salary: 35M WAR: 9.6 Actual Value: 76.8 Million Surplus Value: 41.8M
      3) Salary: 35M WAR: 10.5 Actual Value: 84.0 Million Surplus Value: 49.0M

      3 year Opt out: Surplus Value Gained: 118.2M Future Value lost: 164.6M

      4) Salary: 35M WAR: 6.0 Actual Value: 48.0 Million Surplus Value: 13.0M
      5) Salary: 35M WAR: 7.7 Actual Value: 61.6 Million Surplus Value: 26.6M
      6) Salary: 35M WAR: 9.2 Actual Value: 73.6 Million Surplus Value: 38.6M
      7) Salary: 35M WAR: 8.9 Actual Value: 71.2 Million Surplus Value: 36.2M
      8) Salary: 35M WAR: 8.5 Actual Value: 68.0 Million Surplus Value: 33.0M
      9) Salary: 35M WAR: 3.3 Actual Value: 26.4 Million Surplus Value: -8.6M
      10)Salary:35M WAR: 7.6 Actual Value: 60.8 Million Surplus Value: 25.8M

      So to summarize if Harper followed Bonds career path we would lose $164.6 million in future value with a 3 year opt out as opposed to not including an opt out and $39.6 million as opposed to a 5 year opt out. And while some may say he might get 45 million after opting out so it’s only a $10M difference, that ignores how many extra years he may get as he ages or the fact he could leave for another team.

      You may look at this as insane because that’s a potential 282.80 million in surplus value for the Phils in a best case scenario. But Don’t forget the contract is a possible $350 million in dead weight on the other end of the spectrum.

      1. I applaud your efforts, but using Barry Bonds as a comp doesn’t prove anything really. He’s the ultimate outlier both in terms of career output and especially in terms of productivity curve (likely greatly enhanced by steroid use). It’s like using Randy Johnson as a comp for Patrick Corbin. It’s a crazy ass comp and skews every reasonably expected result.

        And, by the way, you’re looking at these free agents having contracts with surplus value (value above the amount being paid). While it’s great if you can find that value, both the agents and the teams understand value as well as anyone, so what you’re really looking to do with these big ticket FA contracts is at the very least, pay what the player is worth or get a slight bit of surplus value. As for residual surplus value – there may be some between opt out period 2 and 3 (so the first opt out may have some net positive value), but the last period in these contracts is always projected to be a loser due to normal (i.e., non-steroid enhanced) expected values. Expect the last few years to be like Ryan Braun’s last few years or the tail end of Tulowtizki’s contract – where you’re overpaying the player. That’s the norm – not Barry Bonds.

        1. I see you’ve projected one opt out period – most contracts would have two, and there might be some decent residual value after the first period, but if the second period ends at age 32 or so, the residual value, would likely be minimal or non-existent.

    2. I do this
      1) 45 million
      2) 40 million
      3) 35 million
      OPT OUT
      4) 45 million
      5) 45 million
      6) 45 million
      7) 30 million

      OPT OUT
      8) 20 million
      9) 20 million
      10 20 millon

      10 years/345 million

  42. So much for Arenado being a FA next year. I see Rendon re-signing with the Nats. So, it has to be Harper for us. 10/$350 Million, opt our after 3. Largest contract ever, highest yearly Salary. Let’s get it done Johnny M!

    1. Part of me thinks the Arenado negotiations are why the Harper deal isn’t done yet. no doubt Boras knew Arenado negotiations were coming to a close and he didn’t want Harper to sign until after Arenado signed. Now Boras can deliver the biggest contract in terms of total value and annual value.

      1. Thats possible.
        Arenado canned Boras a few years back after the ’15 season in favor of the Wasserman Media Group….maybe Boras wanted a little retribution.

    1. Realmuto, Segura, Cutch, Roberstson, Pazos and Alvarez does soften the loss off-season I would think.

  43. I hope that the Phillies will now act with a sense of urgency. I’m not comfortable with them holding firm. Any leverage they have has seemed lately to be rather tenuous.

    1. 8mark…My gut is telling me… the MLBPA has informed the agents on their high ticket clients….to push for the third year opt-out to coincide with the next CBA negotiations….players are heading to strike or in that instances , hold-out until they get what they want in the next CBA.
      If that is the case….the union informing agents to do that….isn’t that colluding to some degree?

        1. At first I thought Harper just wanted the three yr opt-out to beat Trout’s next contract….but with Arenado now the picture is becoming clearer….than listening to Verlander, Neshek and many others voicing their displeasure of the current state of affairs it is beginning to look like the players are getting ready to mount an offensive push in thee years.

          1. This leaves me scratching my head. So you’re telling me the players that just signed these mega deals are going to be eager to strike? I mean they might not have a choice they are the minority but I’m sure in their own private thoughts they are not going to be happy to give up that salary for any length of time.

            It’s funny the guys you hear talking strike vs. the ones who are mum.

            A strike for all intensive purposes would be to right the wrong of older players not getting signed and younger players having their service time manipulated

            1. Well technically a strike without a CBA completed. will make the players with LTCs unhappy.
              But we are talking a minority of the 1000 plus players in the MLBPA
              Maybe less than 200 total players.
              However, there are more and more players complaining about the current system….unless the owners take it on themselves to make changes it looks like a strike will occur.
              The other aspect…players do not like teams ‘tanking’ before a season even gets started, to get better…..and not paying out the large contracts to the older players. What is ironic…one of the greatest former players is at the forefront of this…Derek Jeter.

    2. i guess it still not clear to me how much of the delay is us holding firm and how much is boras/harper

  44. I tend to agree with Hinkie about what needs to happen and how the Arenado deal affects the Harper negotiations but I still think that Boras wants two things…beat the $325 million of Stanton’s deal and beat Greinke’s 34.5 million AAV.

    To me, a 10/350 gets this done and then you get the opt out after 4years. There has to be some give and take here, goodness gracious, they seem to be talking about 3 million per year and 1 extra out year.

    Boras is relentless but he will compromise if he feels the deal can be construed as a win for him…and 10/350 does that. In return, you compromise on the 3 year out that Arenado got and the 5 years that MM got as their opt outs.

    It does seem the end game is close. get this done already!

    1. Yes. Agree. Buy more favorable opt out years with more guaranteed money. I would do 346 million over 10 years if Boras agreed to opt out after year 4.

      BTW … former Marlins president Dave Samson (who is really worth following on twitter) doesn’t think the Arenado contract negatively affects the Phillies negotiating position with Harper.

      1. I think it pushes up Harper’s price a bit, but what it really does is reinforce the market rate opt out period of 3 years and that’s just as valuable for the Boras team as the money.

        1. It definitely raises Harper’s price because now the Dodgers have wiped off the drool on their mouths for Arenado next year. Suddenly they have more money to spend. The Phillies had better press the gas and get it done. Whatever Boras and Harper want. Get it done.

          1. Haven’t listened myself but a friend texted me to say that Jayson Stark said today that the opt out is NOT the issue. The Phillies have yet to offer the money they think Harper’s worth.

            1. That is interesting. All I’ve heard is the money is decided @ 330/10 (cartwheels if true) and the only Hang up is he opt outs.

              I don’t see the arendo extension inflating BH price. MM is a better comparable , due to his age.

              330@10 seems like a bargain after all the preseason hype of 400+mil.

    2. Boras’ job is to push the envelope as far as he can push it and then strike the deal. He’s just about there.

  45. I don’t quite understand the issue here. Last season, the Phillies had an attendance of 2.15 million. That includes, BOGO and other promotions. At their peak in 2009 they had 3.6 million.

    For the short term, how many seats does Harper fill? I would think they easily break 3 million this year if they add Harper. Let’s say he vaults them to the 3 million range.. That is 1,000,000 extra tickets. How much is each fan worth with food/beer/parking/ticket/ etc? $40?

    That is 40 million right there. That doesn’t count jerseys, t-shirts, or playoffs

    So… sign him to a big 10 year deal. Give him a 3 year opt out. If he takes it, who cares? They would have (hopefully contended) and probably broken even at worst, while elevating the franchise reputation/value

    If he stays 10 years there is risk but not super high given his young age

    10/360, 3 year opt out. Another opt out at age 32. Front load the first 6-7 so he has incentive to stay

    1. I doubt the hang up is they don’t think Harper will bring back enough money to make it worth it. It’s that the more they spend on him, the less they can spend on other FAs, resigning their current players, etc. without going over the lux tax. At that point the financial side actually becomes a question.

  46. Jon Heyman speaks:
    Jon Heyman

    It’ll be interesting to see what Harper gets after Machado (30M per year) & Arenado (33.7M per year in new $). One thing in Harper’s favor: Machado has .761 OPS on road & Arenado .787 vs. .887 for Harper. Fair to point out Manny & Nolan r elite 3B. (Rendon incidentally is .826.)

    11:48 AM – 26 Feb 2019

  47. I agree with newername. Harper pays for himself. We did this exercise a couple of years ago, and I think you are light on $40 per customer in the stands. But, at your number, it works just fine. Boras wants to beat the AAV, which is Greinke at 34.1, not the new Arenado deal. His is the top AAV for a position player. Top Greinke, top Stanton, 10 years at $350, opt out after 3. BTW, betting odds have installed LA ahead of us. I think the time to be cute is long over. Jayson Stark always has trustworthy information. We may still be holding out on the amount because no one is offering as much as we are. But, I think a shorter term deal in LA is a real threat, and I put the money out there. Saving $25 Million over 10 years, at this point, is meaningless. If I have to, I go anywhere short of $400 Million.

  48. Then … up your offer, John Middleton.
    Jayson Stark on 97.5 with Mike Missanelli this afternoon isn’t sure the Phillies have made their best/biggest offer. He doesn’t think the opt outs are the sticking point. He believes Middleton hasn’t offered enough money. Stark also doesn’t think the Dodgers will come close to Middleton’s offer. Starks quote: “There is no way their (Dodgers) dollar figure are going to match, or even come close to the Phillies in terms of dollars.”


    1. Another significant point made by Jayson Stark: someone in the know recently told him that there is NO WAY Trout makes it to free agency. Hmm.

      1. That’s BS. No one knows what Trout is thinking. Even Trout doesn’t know what he’ll do. Does he want to be on a loser year after year? The Angels are not winning anything this year. I think Trout will trust his skills and wait the two seasons for free agency. Unless he’s traded to a winning team and he might sign an extension there, although I doubt it.

        1. Once Harper’s contract is finalize…I think Moreno will offer Trout that extension.
          I have my suspicions that he does he sign it…..but with the an opt-out after two years….that is two years after 2021.
          I mean if he refuses to sign it……than he is telling the org and people out there I’m lame duck for two years. Will not be a good environment.
          Or he may just table the offer until next spring when he is entering into his last year and then make his decision.
          Perhaps Moreno , not wanting to put him on the spot to decide…will wait until after this season to make the offer.

        2. Murray, if no one knows what Trout is thinking, how do you know he doesn’t know what he’ll do? Just messin’….

          But it sounded to me like Stark was referring more to what Arte Moreno’s mind set is prepared to offer. But you’re right, who knows?

          1. I’m only taking a shot at Stark. They should all acknowledge that all they’re able to offer is their opinion. After this Harper experience, I’m exhausted with these so called insiders.

      2. Doesn’t mean he will sign an extension with the LAA but rather they could look to trade him to his preferred destination once it becomes clear he’s not interested in signing an extension with them.

        But all of that is speculation at this point..

    2. My main takeaway here is that this is really in the Phillies court to up Harper’s offer to 10/$350. Hell, the original 9/$360 is fine with me, considering the early opt out(s).

      I will be extremely disturbed should this not go down because they pussyfooted around. The Phillies no longer have nearly the leverage they had, even a week ago. Things have changed, regardless of whether it’s Boras doing Boras things. It’s very simple: either they want Harper for all the wide range of reasons that we’ve discussed here, or they don’t. They won’t be signing a player for this type of coin every year, perhaps never again for quite some time. Why not put this horse out of its misery!

  49. Hinkie, This is the first I have sensed any wavering from you. And, you have been the one talking me off the ledge! If Middleton went to LV, and did not make an offer blowing Machado’s out of the water, meaning between $333 and $350 Million, then he has failed us. I have no idea what the truth is, none of us do, but this has been on Middleton all the way, and he needs to step up. He doesn’t need John Buck’s permission, and, certainly, does not need MacPhail or Matt Klentak to do it. This is, and always has been, at the ownership level.

  50. 10/$330M? Do the deal. No brainer. Let’s sign him, sign Kimbrel, trade Odubel and Vinnie for a better SP and let’s go chase a playoff spot. Let’s get CBP back to what it was, rocking with a good team chasing the playoffs. Let’s get it done already!

    1. Odubel has to get healthy first….and a Grade 1 hamstring strain can take awhile…maybe 2/3 weeks or longer if he rushes back to soon.

  51. VV is working with a Sports Psychologist. Dare we hope the results look like when a certain Doc Halladay worked with one? Back to the all consuming Bryce Harper saga. I trust Jayson Stark. How can we not have already had an offer out there that beat Stanton’s? I don’t care who else was bidding, that seems like really a poor plan to me.

      1. Because we surprisingly backed out. That still surprises me that the Phils stopped at $300M on Manny. They miscalculated on what would happen with Harper.

  52. If Harper decides signing with the Dodgers(for less money) is best for his family, I can’t hold it against him nor should we blame Middleton.

    1. He’s earned the right to be able to select his place of employment.if he’s willing to take money off the table in order to be happy, I can’t begrudge him .

  53. My question to the board:
    What could John Middleton say in response to the media’s relentless peppering of what happened that the Phillies failed to get Bryce Harper signed? What words might he utter that would not go over like a lead balloon?

    1. Don’t say anything….act . Sign Realmuto to a nice extension and people will forget about Harper. Realmuto is a skill position player and can help a young staff. Harper is an outfielder and those are more plentiful . If they do that, what happened with Harper is water under the dam.

  54. I saw some wavering, I just going to say the Phillies/Middleton have this. They are still in a position of strength/driver seat. They simply aren’t going to bid against themselves … all that much. If he wanted to be a dodger, he’d be a dodger! But he wants the most guaranteed money, so checkmate Phillies. The rest is over stuff that money will take care of. Other teams can offer ST high AAV contracts but it’s a bad move vs the LT guaranteed deal. It’ll be over soon, so this coming Monday will say

  55. There’s a new report ( it new news) that the Dodgers and Cubs were always his top choices with Philly just not a place he was really that interested in. Gee . . . Who would have thought.

  56. I never consider Dodgers a threat since I believe that Arenado is their ultimate target. I did not foresee that the Rox will play the big boys game and did not let Arenado test free agency (who I expect to be the Dodgers target).

    With Arenado no longer a possibility, I have a legit concern that Dodgers will be a main threat to Harper. Once Harper is signed, Arte Moreno will also move to lock up Mike Trout.

    I have no doubt the Middleton is willing to open up his wallet. If Middleton is forced to pay out $400M to secure Harper, I think he will be really pissed off with McPhail and Klentak who are responsible for the player valuation and possibly their analytics-based valuation is below what Middleton is willing to pay.

    1. I have been on extended trip and all I hear on radio is Dodgers win Harper in one way or another. Whether it’s Heymon or Boras – clearly we are the underdog. Almost all media is turning to Dodgers as favorites unless Phillies offer 375 million + for 9 or 10 years. Frankly at this point I’ll take Nick in RF at $550 thousand or whatever and let the high roller go to LA.

    2. I have said previously that the Rockies have ponied up money in the past to keep their players. They were always going to be threat to re-sign Arenado.

  57. Assuming Harper doesn’t sign here and with Arenado now signed, what is the course of action for Phils?
    Sign Keuchel, Kimbrel
    Try to trade for an impact bat during the season. not sure whose available?

    1. Not fully sold on him, but I like what I saw early from Haniger (SEA), I’d think about paying a heavy price for him.

      Of course the bat could come from within. Not saying it would be on Harpers level but it could be above mlb avg and that might be all this lineup needs.

      Looking at Cozens,Haslely, Quinn, etc (don’t shoot the optimist, crazier things have happened in the world of baseball)

    2. Sr…I know what I would do….trade for the bat…Tigers’ Castellanos for LF…and trade for the pitcher…DBack’s Robbie Ray for the LHP in the rotation
      Both are very accessible gets at relatively low cost.
      Then you can sign Kimbrel for three years.

  58. Through this negotiating process, one huge question that begs an answer is whether Middleton is now representing the interests of the Phillies and their fanbase OR the interests of the other 29 MLB owners. We’ve heard all about how competitive he is. We’ve heard about the stupid money. Whether it’s opt out clauses or total dollars and years or Harper’s reluctance to come here, whatever is holding up the works should merely be a matter of him going the extra mile. He went to Vegas for a face to face. Now is the time for John Middleton to save his. Get it done!

    1. It’s an interesting dynamic. You gotta believe all the owners are hoping Middleton can get him cheaper than 350mil. With Trout do our, they will Have rest the market for awhile. No player is going to top Trout in career comparison, and that will impact all player negotiations minus pitchers.

      The players must be chomping at the bit to get to 2021 for the new CBA

  59. Just curious to know where everyone’s confidence level is at . . . .

    I didn’t think they could screw this up (signing one of the two) and it looks like that’s whats going on. I’m at 50/50 now with it heading in the wrong direction . . .

    1. Eric D…..of the two…Manny elected the money over the heart.
      Neither preferred Philly first on their wish list.
      But Middleton evidently, from reports, preferred Harper over Manny.
      Manny , if given the money, IMO, would have signed here.
      If Harper signs with the Dodgers…it is more from the heart than the wallet.
      Middleton chose poorly.

      1. Agree, Romus. I am in the minority but Middleton is like a junior high kid negotiating against Warren Buffett. He made numerous mistakes no matter what happens from here on out.

        First, you are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. You don’t play your hand in public with the “stupid money” crack. It did not scare anybody else off as we are still here on 2/27. It gave the fan base some possibly unrealistic expectations and has forced Middleton to offer more than I am sure he originally wanted to.

        He could have had Machado on 1/1 for the same Padre deal. Supposedly the Padres came out of the blue and asked Machado’s team what it would take. They were told 10/$300M and it was done. I happen to think Machado is a superior baseball player. I don’t care how many more jerseys Harper would sell. Now Middleton is in a corner with Harper.

        Finally, this site is fun to read (at times) but nobody knows anything. Same with the media. Harper was going to sign within a few weeks of free agency, then he was going to sign after 1/1 to save on taxes, then he was going to sign with the premier of “The Show” on MLB TV, then he was going to sign right after Machado, then he was going to sign after the first Vegas visit, then he was going when Middleton flew out there in his private jet. Christ, give me a break.

        Now there is the “opt outs” are a good thing for the Phillies angle. How? They are player opt-outs. If Harper is really good then he opts-out after 3-4 years and the Phillies are left holding the bag. If he under performs then he makes the Phillies keep paying an overvalued contract for 6-7 more years.

        1. NL…you nailed it.
          John Kruk said yesterday…..give the Boras/Harper camp a three- day suspense to decide. And if Middleton ever did that, I would have more respect for Middleton if he walked away…and just said ‘we gave it our best efforts, Mr. Harper did not want Philly as his destination, and so wish him well wherever he decides to play”

  60. Any thoughts on middleton’s relationship with boras going forward, which seemed to be fostering, if harper doesn’t sign here?
    he might have an issue going forward if he thought boras knew all along harper wasn’t coming here and boras was just playing him
    billionaries don’t like to be embarrassed

    1. Boras could always blame it on Harper’s wife. I don’t think any of us considered her potential impact. But then, if that part of the story is true, or even perceived publicly as so, Bryce will face future taunting about how the wife calls all the shots. We kid, and many of us married men can attest to the reality of her influence, but to have that point of all this as the hallmark of the negotiations would be unfortunate for all involved.

    2. This should have no impact on relationship. If what you say is true, that is just business, Boras doing his job for his client. When negotiating, you play one potential target vs another. This happens in ALL fields of negotiating. If you then take this personally, and let it affect your next negotiation with that person, shame on you. The tactics by Boras are all business, and if it’s taken personally, you are not the right person for the job.

      1. Agree with Tom B. You can’t take any of this personally. It’s business. Last year, Middleton got the best of Boras by waiting out the agent and landing Jake Arrieta on a three year deal. Boras was originally seeking a seven year pact for Arrieta.
        Things have gotten a little more hairy (in regards to Harper) of late than I’d like to see, However, as I sit here and type this, there are still no reputable reports saying the Dodgers or Giants are offering anything close to what the Phillies are offering. As long as that stands, I’m still very confident Harper will (at some point) sign here. He and Boras are looking for a record breaking contract.
        Could the Dodgers or Giants go long term? I guess it’s possible, but probably not likely. If either of those two teams (or even the Nationals) go ten years, I still think Middleton can/will throw more stupid money at Harper/Boras.
        I have no idea what the Phillies are currently offering. I do know Middleton and MacKlentak have spent the last three years plotting to land their face of the franchise superstar this winter. I trust Middleton will do whatever it takes to drag this process across the finish line … hopefully sooner than later.

  61. Latest rumors is that this will be wrapped up by the end of the week and its down to the Dodgers and Phillies. That Harper hasn’t been happy with this whole process. – Jason Stark. I don’t think you can be upset if your team offers the best contract and he turns it down. Middleton did everything he could. I believe Harper and his family want to play in LA and are using Phillies as leverage. I believe the Phillies have the best offer and Boras wants Harper to take it. The rumor is they have been butting heads. So, this whole process has been a mess and makes me want to walk away. Could you imagine how much leverage Boras and Harper would lose if Phillies announced publicly they are out? If Dodgers sign him, I wonder if we can trade for one of their young OF (Verdugo) and sign Keuchel? Best of bad situation. LA Dodgers need young pitching prospects – VV or Eflin and Medina for Verdugo? Or we could have had Tucker from Houston, but blew that trade.

    1. “I wonder if we can trade for one of their young OF (Verdugo) and sign Keuchel? …why trade for more prospects …we have them already in Moniak/Haseley/Muzz/Ortiz et al.
      As DMAR posted awhile back…just go get a 3WAR, potentially plus, OFer in Castellanos from the Tigers, who are trying to trade because of his pending free agency and they are not willing to go $100M plus for 5/6 years..

      1. Also … a Gabe Kapler/Alex Verdugo reunion would just be a really bad look. If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, google it.

  62. The main issue is putting a winning team on the field. It didn’t matter if it was Machado or Harper, it mattered that the FO, led by Middleton, who took over as the “main” owner and top shareholder in the LP, pointed to this off season as the year we would spend again. I didn’t say that because I would have started the rebuild in 2013, the ownership said it. Klentak has had a terrific off season, but it hasn’t put us in contention for the Division or a WC. Waiting for next year or the year after is just silly, as Arenado is gone, Rendon and Betts will be next and we will be left praying for Trout in 2 years. That is a failure. They miscalculated on Machado and let him go to SD because, I believe, they over estimated the negative reaction from the fan base. They have played this poorly, if rumors are true, that we still haven’t made our best offer. It didn’t matter that we were bidding against ourselves, it mattered that we got the player, any way that it took. Middleton should have been in LV this weekend with the $350 Million offer and closed the deal. The opt outs are immaterial. My level of positivity is about 20%. Sorry!

    1. Completely agree, Matt13. Could not have said it better, other than close with giving Middleton the benefit of the doubt since nothing yet has been finalized. I’m confident that the capitalist in Harper and his wife wins the day.

  63. I’m really not interested in any consolation measures. Keuchel + Kimbrel < Harper. Nicky Castles would be a nice pickup considering the proximity of the DH. But that's not happening until midseason if at all. Plus he's another righty bat….

    Wait a minute, what am I talking about?! Harper and his wife will take the money. I will not waver. Hinkie, you are being summoned by all these Negadelphian ideas floating around. Where are you, my brother?

    1. 8mark….”Plus he’s another righty bat….”…..have you looked at the Sox and Stros lineup that won the last two WS lately?
      Now look at the Dodgers lineup that lost the last two WS.
      RHBs hit RHP> LHBs hit LHPs

  64. I think part of the frustrations ( not saying this is wrong approach) but the Phillies are so tight-lipped
    all we have is conflicting rumors
    now the rumors is harper doesn’t want to play for kapler
    a month ago they loved each other
    we have no real idea what their best offer is, concern about opt-outs etc
    so hard to judge
    just for sake of discussion, if they offered him 400 million over 10 yrs and he turned it down, its hard to blame them on harper ( MM is a different story)

  65. its funny how the view changes on things depending on your perspective
    we praised cliff lee for taking less money to come here
    now we are hoping cold hard cash and capitalism wins out over family and emotion
    perspective is a funny thing

  66. Very clever, nospamforme78@(email site).com. Hope you’re clever enough to get around your ban.

    Multiple names are not allowed on this site. Yyou started with “pilspan” almost 6 years ago. Used “nafslihp” for the first time in 2015. Continued with “pilspan” with a few interspersed comments by “nafslihp” and one “pilapn” thru 2017.

    Then starting in the summer of 2018 (when we had problems with people and usernames) you start posting as “pretzels123”, “so do i”, and “mynewusername”.

    When I asked you to used one name or risk being banned, you responded with “newestiterationofmyusername”, “howdoikeepthesamename”, and “newername”.

    My assumption is that the original account used by “pilspan” has been taken over by someone else. Take your cleverness elsewhere.

  67. I can’t believe this drama isn’t over yet. Anyways, I have no problems with the FO, regardless of the results. Segura is a huge get IMO, and then topped it with Realmuto. Personally, I believe this team in already in the hunt for the Dvision and WC. Harper would make them the favorites. The division will be tough, no doubt, but i think the Phillies have taken a significant move forward. If they miss out on Harper (doubtful), there are options out there, and the good news is they will be a lot cheaper than 300+ million, and it keeps the books open.

    I’ll admit the FO made two missteps during this process. 1st – not grabbing manny at 300mil, but it’s not my money. 2nd, is offering 9/360 to harper early on. Now he and boras are trying every dirty trick in the book to get back
    To that number. LAD could win this, but I put it at 15% chance. Phillies are still the overwhelming favorite. This is pure boras hysteria we are experiencing now.

    If Bh does choose LAD, he will have walked away from the largest offer TWICE… seems the odds are against that happening.

    Honestly, from the rollercoaster of the chase to land these 2, it feels as if there are no other options, but there are, and the other options can lead to the postseason/WFCs again. Harper is no guarantee to a WChamp, but obviously makes it easier.

      1. @Sr – I think he can be had for cheaper, and should be. He hasn’t had the steadiest results. All that said, if I absolutely had to… gun to head, I’d probably pass. Here is why.

        1- the FA market landscape has changed – this could be a monsterour albatross if the deal goes bad.
        2- I’d cash in my prospects for an up and coming OF and keep the payroll down. (Haniger)
        3- Id look for suitable holdovers until 1 of the OF prospects can develop. A little late now.

        All that said, I would do it if I believed BH would definitively opt out at 3, if I didnt really believe in my OF prospects, and I explored the trade market, and no reasonable replacement was there/cost too much in prospects.

        At 9/360, id try to go another route first, if that didn’t work, I’d cave.

        You can always tell Segura,Hoskins, and Realmuto to pony up.

  68. sr, we talk about the Cliff Lee outlier all the time, but it really wasn’t that much less to come here, and he and his Wife both loved Philly. This was always a deal that needed to be done at the ownership level. Middleton’s job was to gauge the interest of the players, make a decision as to which one he wanted, and give it his best effort, even spending “stupid money.”. We don’t know if that has happened. What we do know is that Harper isn’t signed and Machado gave us a chance to beat SD’s offer and we declined. Had we gone the extra year and signed Corbin, and it turns out that $ was peanuts compared to what we are talking about now, our team would be much better right now, and the need for Harper wouldn’t be so great. Maybe we would have been able to make a take it or leave it offer to Harper before we said no to Machado, and that may have worked. What happened instead is that we lost all of our leverage, instead of gaining it, when Machado signed. We still may win out, but the question was our level of confidence. If we lose Harper, I sign Keuchel to the Arrieta contract. I am not sure about how I feel about Kimbrel.

    1. Plus Lee and his wife had been here before that. Their love for the area was based on their experience. Not so with the Harpers. Only Ben, George and Abe can convince them.

      1. LOL
        not a lot of George’s and abe in 300+ million dollars
        mainly ben’s
        cant they just put BH on their credit card and get the frequent flyer miles

  69. Jim, I have a question for you. Do you have an opinion on the whole Machado/Harper/offseason saga? I know this has been extra work for you, and I know you run this site because you love the young kids primarily, but I haven’t seen your opinion on the moves from the big club. Other than aggravation at the time the whole thing has consumed.

  70. Here is the cold hard truth…none of this makes any sense to us because none of us have the facts.

    Here is what I know for sure:
    1. Middleton badly wants the Phils to win
    2. Middleton’s personal credibility is on the line to sign Harper
    3. Middleton is very smart and a very good negotiator
    4. Leaks to the media are done by many different related and un-related parties for vastly different goals.
    5. Harper is an elite hitter at 26 years old and that is a very, very rare scenario for a FA
    6. The Phils deeply believe that Harper would materially upgrade their team when taking into account any other option or combination of options both in their system and outside the system.
    7. All owners of MLB teams are rich beyond what any human can spend in their lifetime. They all became extremely rich because they are also extremely competitive. The Phillies ownership group is NOT the only group that will pay a lot of money for Harper. Whether they would over pay anyone else in the market is still TBD. No team should be under-estimated.
    8. It is obviously not as simple as Harper will go to the highest bidder. If that was the case, the deal would be done.
    9. Harper likely is fine playing in Philly, but that is not his top choice. If it is close, then we lose.

    I truly hope we sign Harper. But I am not going to get all worked up on any of these rumors between now and then.

    1. @V1
      I agree with most of what you said. I’d add the element of the Players union/CBA factor into this. I honestly believe BH will ultimately take the largest guaranteed contract over his personal choice. If it is 5 million close, I can see him going to LAD. Anything else, he basically takes the most cash to benefit the players union & CBA talks in 2021. He is the face of baseball, he has added responsibilities that other players don’t have, he can’t give a discount imho, but yes I don’t really know either way. Just the way I see it after a lot of offseasons.

      For the record if Harper does sign with Philly, that will make all of the top FA Choice so far decide Money over personal choice/hometown etc

      1. Tac3, excellent point. The face of baseball factor is significant if not a determining one. There has to be some silent coercion from the union in a case of this magnitude.

      2. This has been my point all along. If it is a massive over pay by the Phils, then he will take it. But even $10m extra over 10 years is not that much to a guy getting this much guaranteed money.

        Take out 40-45% fo taxes. Take out Agent’s fees 5% and you are left with about $500k per year. I know that is a lot of money to you and me, but in this scenario that is 1/35th of what he makes per year.

        As a comparison, If you made $105k per year, then that would be the difference between making $102k or $105k. That is not a reason to pick a location where you wife is less happy. So if the Dodgers are at $320/10 and we are at $330/10, he is going to LAD.

        Now if we are at $350/10 and the Dodgers are at $300/10 (manny’s contract), then that is a big delta. Or even if the Dodgers are $120/3, which means FA again at age 29. It is complicated.

    2. That’s a good breakdown, v1. If only we could quantify each of your bullets in terms of how they would construct a winning offer to a player who may or may not simply go for the most.

    3. Agree with most of v1’s points.
      I will say this about your point 8, though: Time will tell, but I’d bet anything that, in the end, Harper will sign with the highest bidder. That’s just the way free agency almost always goes. I also believe it is very important for Boras/Harper to set a record with this contract. Maybe the reason he hasn’t signed yet is because nobody has offered him a deal that would break Stanton’s total money and/or Greinke’s AAV.
      This is all purely speculation. The Phillies have remained silent (until a couple of days ago when I believe they leaked the fact that Boras was asking for 375 million to Todd Zolecki).

  71. Hinkie – Harper’s ego wants the highest contract ever, but his family wants him to play closer to home. Both Corbin and Machado chose the money, and odds are Harper will too. If he chooses LA, however, we shouldn’t hate him. and you shouldn’t ban yourself.

      1. I just think Hinkie was asserting his confidence in this organization to go all in for Macharper that he was willing to lay it on the line. That’s all. He owes nobody anything.

        1. I appreciate the thoughts. However, I stand by those words.
          I’m still confident. I believe Middleton will do whatever he needs to do to get Harper. The team has already spent lots of money and prospect capital to open their window of contention in 2019. Middleton understands he needs to add Harper to make this team a true contender.

          Also … Dave Samson still believes (as do I) it’s all about the money; not about the city.

          1. Doesn’t this Dave Samson have a job?
            All he does is tweet over somebody that is not even going to Miami.

  72. If Harper does not sign with the Phillies, it is not because he and/or his wife don’t want to live in Philly. He won’t sign with them just like he wouldn’t sign with the Mets or the Braves.

    As I’ve written before, he just doesn’t want to play 9-10 games a year in DC and be thought of as a turncoat and he doesn’t want to be booed mercilessly by the Nationals fans.

    So it won’t be Middleton’s fault and it won’t be Klentek’s fault and it won’t be McPhail’s fault. However, it may be Hinke’s and 8mark’s fault because they are facing a 6 month hiatus.

    1. Why would he care about what the Nationals/Nationals Fans thought?
      They didn’t want him, they favor Rendon obviously.
      He didn’t win a WS with them.
      He’ll spend the majority of his career with another team.
      Washington is across the country from where he lives. Won’t be running into many Nats fans in LV (besides this who rooted for them bc of Harper).
      This is about this preference to play on the west coast and not in Philly.

      1. Nats fans……is there such a thing.
        Most of the people going to their games seem to be from somewhere else in the country.
        The games I have gone to …they seem very pleasant just to enjoy the event.

        If Harper signs with the Phillies…i am willing to bet they give him a standing ovation when introduced ….then play Hail To the Chief when he comes to bat…in a Phillies uniform.

        1. Your right Romus. My son lives in DC and we often go to games. They are oblivious to what is going on. Just relaxing and enjoying the entertainment, about the 6th inning they start to drift off to enjoy the nightlife. That is why I find it hard to imagine BH would be bothered by booing by Nats fans if he played for Philly!

    2. If Harper doesn’t sign with the Phillies, it is absolutely 100% Middleton’s fault.

      There is certainly a number which will win the deal. And he wouldn’t be willing to pay that. And if that is the case, then fine, but don’t say dumb stuff like “we are going to spend stupid money” and then not actually spend stupid money. Stupid money is not paying market price. Stupid money is over paying the market.

      1. He gave himself an out, suggesting that the amount shouldn’t be too stupid. If it does get too stupid, I don’t blame him for not pulling the trigger. What is that number? It’s hard to say, but I think $400 million sounds too high.

          1. Overplayed their hand. Phillies for almost 2 months negotiated like they were the ONLY team that Machado or Harper could get that big deal. Padres stepped up and since then that put Dodgers & Giants into a more aggressive pursuit of Harper for short term deal.

            1. I don’t necessarily think they did anything wrong. They needed to show interest at the start to get him to consider coming. He will either want to be here or he won’t.

          2. The Machado deal might be the harder one in the long run. I don’t think they’ve done anything wrong, but I also don’t think they’ve been masterful either. They’ve gotten caught in a little three card Monty between the Machado and Harper deals.

            1. Their job is not to “try hard.” their job is to get it done. they misread the market on both elite FAs. If they don’t sign Harper, they failed IMO.

        1. Stupid might be signing both Machado and Harper at $300m per player. Not getting either at any price isn’t stupid, “too” stupid, or whatever you might call it.

            1. Not what I meant. “Stupid” in this case meaning exhorbitant. In other words, I’m saying without MM or BH, the Phillies did nothing “stupid” this off season.

    3. Why would he care about returning to a phoney baseball city? Couldn’t disagree more. If he was so in love with DC and thier phoney fans, he would have accepted thier offer, deferments or not.

  73. SF met with Harper for a 2nd time yesterday. IMO, that bodes well for the Phillies if they can maintain the best offer. LAD and SF are clearly teams Boras is using to inflate the best offer, regardless of where the Harpers prefer to live. If they want the Phillies to pay for the “inconvenience” of going to less desirable destination, that’s okay by me.

  74. WIP just tweeted out the the Phillies believe the chances signing Harper are “remote”. Well . . . I’m now closer to 20/80 . . . This has been exhausting.
    He just doesn’t want to play in Philly. What more do some need to hear?

    1. This could have been leaked by Klentak to put pressure on Boras or clickbait since an interview will be airing latter today.

      1. Exactly. Thank you, Bosss. Steve Philips interviewed Klentak. Obviously, he’s only going to say something to posture the Phillies in better leverage. I can even picture Klentak shrugging his shoulders in response to the question with, “yeah, at this point, I would say remote.” This would be an historic record breaking contract in professional sports, if only for a couple years, anyway. Now if Middleton, for whatever reason, decides NOT to go that high, he’s to blame no matter how you slice it.

        1. Reports are that LA and SF are both talking 10 yr deals. While the Phillies were being afraid that they were bidding against themselves, they got company, now they would have to have the high bid, by some amount. Bottom line is they blew it.

          1. As a courtesy to readers here, can we all please agree to include the source of the “reports”? Thanks.

    2. What more do some need to hear? How about hearing from someone either with an ounce of credibility or not being played by an agent or GM.

  75. Damn now Greg Luzinski is tweeting out “do we really want Harper if he doesn’t want to be here” I dunno if it’s actually him.

  76. IMHO, Camp Snailas, is looking for 10/375 with an opt out at 3. First one to budge, gets him.

    I’m sure Middleton has already offered 10/330 opt out at 5, maybe 4. No other bidders that close to their ask though, so the game is still on.

    this MLB soap opera is going to drag out until it hits those numbers. Unless of course, he grows some softballs, and gambles on his performance for the next 3-4 years with a high AAV. Lol … but he wants the record contract too … and for it to be guaranteed! Smh.

  77. Jon Heyman
    ‏Verified account

    Team Harper has made clear he’s considering only long-term deals. That makes sense as any free agent with the opportunity would prefer a chance to be settled. Also, it makes sense not to leave guaranteed money on table, especially when early opt-outs r routine now in these deals.

    11:35 AM – 27 Feb 2019

  78. Jon Heyman

    Follow Follow @JonHeyman

    Interesting twist in Arenado deal is that the last 5 years he has the option to opt out. #Rockies
    12:04 PM – 27 Feb 2019

    Matt Quigley
    Replying to @JonHeyman
    Great! Now Harper is going to want a 10 year deal with opt outs after each year.

    LOL..Harper yearly opt-out!s 🙂

    1. Jayson Stark said yesterday that he sees no way the Dodgers go long term with Harper, based on the way he knows how they operate.

      1. Andrew Friedman has not entertained LTC with FAs…except for one….AJ Pollock, last months’ signing..
        However, the caveat…when he was running the Tampa Bay Rays they were cashed strapped most of the time so that really does not count.
        But will still do not know what is short for him…5 maybe 6 years.
        And Harper we still do not know, but believe, what constitutes long term…8-9-10 years.
        And does not look like the Dodgers will go more than 6 years.

  79. I always thought Machado was the better player and a need at 3rd base – a premium position. RF and LF are not premium positions. Nick Williams is young and underrated. He is no Harper, but ok for now. I believe the real issue with this team is the lack of true #2. Not getting Corbin to me was the real killer. I believe we got too emotionally attached to signing Harper or Machado. If the reports from MLB Trade Rumors are true, then the Harper signing is not happening. Let’s brainstorm how we can improve the current team over the next few years to win the championship and forget about over-hyped players who don’t want to be a Phillie!

    1. Mentally, this will hurt. The Phillies will be OK, and in the hunt with or without Harper – imo

      For a long time I though MM was needed (2+ yrs) but BH eventually won out, for weaking a division rival & his OPS increase over current Phillies OF

      At this point, brainstorming where the team will improve is going to come from within, either from developing or trades

      I think we have forgotten or written kingery off, but he still has time. Maybe the Phils pasted on MM because of Franco and Bohm. Haslely and Moniak could easily make us forget about Harper. We haven’t even touched on the pitching side either.

      And of course… there is always Trout. If BH signs with a west coast team, Trout could sign with the Phillies for super obvious reasons.

      This is going to be a great year … and if BH signs with the LAD\SF .. will have a new villain in this town. Get those Boo voices ready. Will be the opposite of Utleys ovation

  80. is it just me or does it feel like we don’t know anymore than we did in January?
    just lots of conflicting rumors?
    I don’t think we’re really going to understand the process until the final destination and numbers come out and we hear from the Phillies if they are unsuccessful

    1. LOL Romus that never happens…

      Just got back from my office in NY today. Let me just say if you haven’t been to One World Trade it is something to behold. Anyhoo they all know I am a big Phillies fan up there so it is funny to hear them gripe about the Yankmees and why Cashman isn’t spending money.

      Be mindful that is not a deal a would jump out and do right now. I’d like to see how the roster currently constructed gets out of the gate. That was a deal I was hot for before we got JT.

      But as Tac says above me the fat lady hasn’t sung yet

      1. DMAR…..those Yankee fans have to be kidding …Cashman brought them Stanton last year at a top dollar cost for practically little in return from their farm system.
        Next time….remind them …Aaron Judge will be commanding big bucks in 3 years …maybe sooner if the Yankees do an early arb buy-out.
        Yankee fans can be so ….never-mind.

        Yes….the fat lady still has to sing.

  81. Agree with v1. This is coming down to John Middleton. I’ve taken him at his word about his willingness to spend stupid money. If the new reports of SFG’s willing to go long term are true (not even sure about that), it’s time for Middleton to step up and offer Harper/Boras a record setting deal. In the end, John Middleton will either be the hero or the goat (and I’m not talking about the “greatest of all time”). If he’s the hero, he’ll have packed houses at CBP, and mega buzz around his franchise. If he’s the goat, CBP will pretty much look like it did last season, and the Phillies will remain an afterthought to the Eagles and 76ers, locally.

    1. Hinkie I don’t think we are out of this until its announced and I hope you won’t ban yourself even if it does happen.

      My mantra “Its better to be lucky than good” and maybe just maybe whatever happens proves that out. This is still a better team than the team that faded down the stretch last year I believe that.

      Lastly I will not hang a goat tag on JM or the FO. I do hope they learn from the experience.

      Free agency should never be a weighted part of a rebuilding plan. Yeah you make sure you have some payroll flexibility when a class presents itself but you better make sure you’re doing well in the areas of your club you can control.

  82. Could someone please tell me how a team as well run as the Dodgers would just jump in this late with a huge offer to Bryce Harper with literally nothing changing on the Phillies end and after previously telling investors that they would not be going over the cap over several years at a shareholder meeting?

    The Dodgers were also recently mandated to cut debt by MLB after a 5 year grace period for new ownership and previously considering selling a minority stake in the team? I don’t buy the Arenado signing talk since they made no overtures to Machado this offseason. I just see this as a Boras Ploy that they are willing to go along with.

  83. The dodgers at least make sense. Harper hopefully puts them over the World Series hump in their minds and it gives them a young player to trade for Kluber during the season if Cleveland struggles.
    SF makes no sense if there are 3 yr opt outs because they’re years away from contending with old players, no farm system and a payroll way over 200 million with this deal

    1. Sr….and a ball park that Harper has had trouble hitting in in the past.
      SF….164/.305/.284…SSS…85 PAs
      LA….242/ .307/.364…SSS..75 PAs

  84. I think it’s over Phillies blew it. I don’t know if Phillies are unwilling to step up or Harper really does NOT want to come here. Phillies best chance was to get Manny who was willing to go anywhere for petes sake he went to the Padres. If reports are true and SF is throwing out a 10 year offer scared the Dodgers might get him we are screwed. They had their chances to lock this up a month ago by throwing out a huge number when it seemed no other team was willing to go anywhere near a 10 year offer. They got caught penny pinching or in this case million pinching? Ive had bad feelings a while when both Klentak and Kapler came out and talked about what a great offseason we had even without Manny or Harper. I have no sources just my stupid opinion.

  85. Manny disses Orioles:
    Mark Viviano

    Manny Machado’s 1st 1-on-1 interview since he signed w Padres includes: “The Orioles drafted me. I did a lot for that community, I did a lot for the state, and they didn’t show me a little bit of love. It is what it is.” https://www.si.com/mlb/2019/02/26/manny-machado-san-diego-padres

    8:38 PM – Feb 26, 2019

    …I suppose the $33M they paid him thru his age25 seasons was not enough love….buying out a few arb years in the process.

  86. I would look at Kimbrel on a 1 yr deal maybe with an option at a higher AAV since we have money to spend and no one to spend it on

  87. If Harper goes elsewhere,it’s interesting to note that despite stupid money, the Phillies, a big market team, will again have no players on contracts even close to 100 million total.

    1. @sr and all worried: the Phillies are still in this. The fat lady hasn’t sung just yet. Will have to wait to see what happens, none of us know, but here are some high probability options of happening:

      What does he want:
      A record contract, LT 10 contract, west coast, and a chance at winning.

      1- BH wants LAD, but LAD only goes 6. Hard to believe they go over the luxury tax for him, goes against all FO/Ownership philosophy. Gets 3 of the 4 he wants

      2-SF – it’s WC, but the team stinks. Will be behind SD shortly. I don’t see it. BH will want to opt out and his numbers while possibly good, won’t be as good as they could be elsewhere. Only gets 3 of the 4 things he wants

      3-PHI – middleton have his final offer at the Recent meeting. Boras is shopping it like crazy. BH will get his 3 yr opt out, the numbers he needs to make more money in pt 2 of the contract. Goes to a winning team. He gets 3 of the 4 things he wants.

      So which 3 of the 4 of his wants hold the most weight? That’s what will find out. Money on the table I’m betting it’s still the Phillies. A lot of these feeels like boras and his tactics. If it’s not, I’m wrong and so be it. They’ll win another way.

      1. 3-PHI….and free Tastykakes for life….well maybe not life, maybe until the first opt-out year goes by and he is still a Phillie.

  88. If we don’t get Harper, I will boo Manny, Harper, Klentak, McPhail, and Middleton with all my lungs. This will leave this team as a 82 win team, not good enough. Bad work. They went cheap and made wrong market interpretations at the wrong time.

    1. “This will leave this team as a 82 win team, …”
      They added six players that can bring them 90 wins IMO.
      But failing to get Harper….means they may also go in for Keuchel or Kimbrel, as consolation prizes.
      Having Seranthony, Robertson and Kimbel for the last three innings is a real plus….along with all the other bullpen guys who have some abilities.

    2. @Matt – let’s assume Harper goes to SF, how do you feel abou the team with Kimbrel added?

      Neris, Ser Anthony, Robertson, & Kimbrel to add to the current SP and Offense? Shorten the game. The 3 batter minimum won’t matter with those guys. It’d be nice to have both though.

        1. I’ll go farther than that. Not getting Harper after giving up young talent for JTR and Segura, and laying down some serious coin for Cutch leaves me feeling like they failed to complete their objective. To me, all the offseason activity is a package. Harper and the other significant moves are not separate in the total scheme of things.

  89. Romus, normally I agree with you, and I love the moves we made, but I see 85 wins and that is with one of the young SPs stepping up. I think adding Kimbrel and Keuchel pushes that number up, but I wouldn’t go more than 3 years for them and I don’t think that gets them.

  90. However, let’s remember, it’s not a done deal yet. The Dodgers want a short term deal and the Giants aren’t going to win titles and he won’t hit record numbers of homers there to enable him to opt out. The light is still flickering. If they offer the cash.

  91. If anything reported is true and either the Giants or Dodgers have offered a 10 year contract north of 300 million that’s the end for the Phillies. So why hasn’t he signed? Maybe there is some fake news being leaked about these other offers or about the Phillies offer. Harper hasn’t signed because he hasn’t been offered what he wants so far. There is still hope (fingers crossed). But I can’t take much more it needs to end soon, for my health.

  92. According to this report on ESPN.com, Bryce Harper is the betting favorite to win the 2019 NL MVP at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

    From the story (published Wednesday 6:38 PM ET): “We think Harper’s favorite destination is Philadelphia,” Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook director John Murray told ESPN.

    So … there’s that.

      1. ….and Dodger Stadium is a pitcher’s park as well.

        I can’t fathom the reasoning for entertaining the thought of signing with SF – an aging roster at the bottom of the division, a weak farm, a cavernous ballpark – other than location and to facilitate an escalating bidding war. The Dodgers I can see. But it’s against their MO historically, they don’t need any more lefty power bats, and they are reportedly not interested in going 10 years.

        What am I missing here? Should he somehow decide for either SF or LAD, I predict he will become an above average player over the first half of the contract with decline in the latter part. A fading star by the time he’s 30.

        The Phillies offer a team on the verge, in a ballpark where he would light up the scoreboard before 45,000. A chance to pop 600 home runs before he hangs ’em up. And of course an organization that has lots of spending money, much of which is his with simply a stroke of a pen.

        1. I think we overreacted. If it was the Dodgers offering 10 years, I’d be worried, supposedly it’s not. I believe that. I can also see the Dodgers playing boras game to drive the price up on the Giants, and Phillies as well. The Dodgers and Giants hate each other like NYY/BOS.

          Harper would be a fool to sign with SF over PHI if the money is less from SF. Even so, it would be a bad career move imo. The Phillies should have this, logic prevailing.

          1. EricD….if he goes to the Giants…..it is deja vu all over for them when Barry Bonds went there…and what did they win in his 14 seasons there….zilch.
            They won the West three times and got to four playoffs….once to the WS and lost to the Angels. They won their three WS rings after he retired in 2008 with pitching for the most part.
            And Harper will not be aided by PEDs in that ballpark to help their cause.

      2. 11jcj … Here is the entire statement from the ESPN story:
        “We think Harper’s favorite destination is Philadelphia,” Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook director John Murray told ESPN. “That’s a Little League park. You can imagine how many home runs he’d hit there as his home park. If he ends up going to the Dodgers, you could see the odds tweaked a bit since that’s such a pitchers’ park.”
        It sounds like they believe it will be LAD’s or Phillies. Certainly, Harper’s numbers would take a significant hit in SF’s Oracle Park.

        1. John Murray on CBP….“That’s a Little League park..”….maybe for HRs (4th favorable according to Park Factors), but for hitting in general , not so much….smaller OF to cover less hits fall.

  93. maybe if we all just give up on the idea he’s going to sign here, he’ll finally sign here.

    Makes me think of how the Eagles often go- when i hear every fan confidently predicting victory, that always worries me and they often seem to lose. When the fans give up, thats when the Eagles surprise us and put it together and win.
    This is the least optimistic we’ve been about Harper signing here- lets hope he’s a Phil by the end of the week.

  94. Still believe Harper is signing with the Phils.

    Hats off to Scott Boras, though. Dude is a genius.

  95. I hope that Harper signs soon so that the Phillies have time to execute a plan B. If they were to use the Harper money to sign some pitching (Keuchel and maybe Kimbrel), the offseason is a success. The addition of pitching is ALWAYS an acceptable outcome. Running any type of successful business requires in-game adjustments.

  96. just go back to 9/360 with a three yr opt out. that’s the money you were ok with in nov
    that should blow everyone out of the water and if he wants to give up 100-150 million guaranteed to sign with the dodgers, there’s nothing we can do to stop that

    1. That’s the contract right there – this is our final offer. We need a decision in 48 hours or we announce publicly we are out of the Harper Sweepstakes!

  97. In order for the California based teams to “match” the Phillies offer on a net basis, it will have to be approximately 20 million dollars higher than ours due to the difference in state tax rates. That matter more than people realize.

  98. It’s a new day, and after a night to sleep on it, I’m more optimistic about Harper again.
    So far, reports are the Giants are “discussing” making a long term offer. A San Francisco offer could lure the LAD’s into going long term on a bid also. The thing I keep returning to is this: the Phillies whole rebuild has centered around this FA class. They have been pinching pennies over the last few seasons to strike this winter. And, even though it’s soon to be spring, Bryce Harper is still available. I have no doubt Harper/Boras are looking for the most guaranteed money. John Middleton has promised to spend stupid money to finish off this rebuild. At this point, 300 million dollars is no longer stupid money. IMO, Middleton will go much higher … if he has to.
    This is going to sound weird, but a few months ago I redid our master bathroom. Mrs. Hinkie picked out a new toilet for me to install. She chose a beautiful, high efficiency American Standard john. The thing allows you to decide how much water you use by the amount of time you hold the flush handle. Sometimes you need a short flush, other times you need a longer flush. That new toilet is a metaphor for John Middleton. A week ago, the Phillies owner needed only a quick flush to land Harper. Things have suddenly changed (it would appear). Middleton now needs more water/a longer flush to land his face of the franchise superstar.
    Time to get off the “john” Middleton, and hold that flush handle down for as long as it takes to get Bryce Harper to Philadelphia !!! 🙂

          1. Yeah. Mrs. Hinkie and I are leaving on a cruise next weekend. My luck …after 120+ days, this whole Harper drama comes to an end while I’m out at sea. 😦

            1. Well enjoy the cruise…you can still stay in touch, most of the time I assume..they have Internet connections.

              But then again…it might be the first weekend of your ban! 🙂

            2. Do me a favor before you leave, tell Sam he can leave the basement and have the run of the house while you are gone. It’s only fair.

  99. For all those upset the Phils may get Harper, please realize the amount of risk associated with a 10 year deal. Harper has been injured a decent amount, and pundits spent the first half of last year wondering if his swing was broken. He’s had 3 sub 2 WAR seasons and while he is only 26, he’s already trending toward being a bad defender.

    Is he a good player? Yes. Could he help the Phils? Yes. Could the Phils deeply regret signing him for 10 years? Yes.

      1. It is not a mutual opt-out clause….it is a player.
        Cubs are experiencing somewhat the ache of it now with Heyward.
        Harper hits and fields below wRC+ 100, or below a 3WAR player….he decides …what the heck…i will stay and collect the $30M plus

        1. Thank you. A very weird narrative has developed here and in the general media about how unilateral player opt outs could be good for the team. No, they aren’t – by definition. They are good for the player – that’s it.

          People say, well, it could help the Phillies because if he opts out after say 3 or 5 years, the team won’t have to pay that salary, thus relieving the team of the monetary burden. That’s true (that by opting out the team is relieved of having to pay the contract), but here’s why it still isn’t good. When the player is up for the opt out he makes a very rational business decision with his agent. If he won’t get more money on the open market, he won’t opt out and he’ll stay with the team and the better contract – and most likely be overpaid. Well, that’s not good for the team – they don’t want to overpay for a player.

          But if he thinks he’ll get more on the open market, he will opt out and go get a better contract somewhere else. So many will say that’s good for the team. NO, IT ISN’T! If he opts out where his deal would otherwise lock him in and be favorable for the team, it means the team is deprived of two very important options. First, if it wants to retain him as a bargain, it is unable to do so because he’s leaving. But, say the player “opt out” advocates not having the opt out is it’s bad because if they don’t want to keep him now they have to keep him because there is no opt out. This is where the ultimate fallacy in their argument lies. If they don’t want him anymore and his contract is a bargain – HE (or more accurately, his contract) HAS TRADE VALUE!!! They can flip the contract and player to another team, thus relieving themselves of the financial obligation AND receiving assets in return.

          So, no, the argument that the player opt out is valuable for the team is false. UNILATERAL PLAYER OPT OUTS ONLY BENEFIT THE PLAYER.

        2. My understanding is that there were team or mutual opt out similar to Arietta’s deal. But I can’t be certain

          1. MarcH…yes that is what is the normal modifier at the end of most all a contracts.
            Team options, mutual options or the buy-out

            These opt-out clauses, that incidentally Boras initiated with the original ARod contract, is somewhat akin to ‘a player out-performing his initial signed contract’ and wants to get paid more or have the opportunity to move on.

      2. Depends. If he has an opt out after year 3 or 4, but has underwhelmed by then, he’ll stay and I’d guess the relationship between him and the fans would become quite strained.

        To me, it’s kind of telling that the Nats chose to overpay Corbin over Harper and that there simply aren’t a lot of teams in on him.

        1. after the whole winter waiting for Harper or Manny, I have resigned myself to the fact that McCutcheon will be our big FA splash. Can’t compete with Sunny West Coast weather. Harper will regret his stats plummeting in those stadiums, Not to mention time difference affecting nationwide coverage. If those teams don’t win he will be diminished in a few years

        2. The Nats played this out perfectly IMO. They got out in front of this from the jump starting with Juan Soto as a 19 y/o he ops’d 923.

          Then they start leaking and feeding their fans. yeah we had a deal with the Astros but we still want Bryce so we turned it down. We wanted to to give Bryce $300 million he turned us down.

          They jump the Yankees and Phillies to get Corbin (see fans we’re trying we spend money to make this club better)

          They play a brilliant game of PR chess. Without ever saying anything derogatory about Bryce they turned the fan reaction quickly on their side.

  100. For all those down on Harper’s projections, bear in mind that while he struggled early in 2018, he hit .300 the 2nd half of the season. Even if he isn’t as consistent as say, a Machado, his streaks at CBP will carry this team for months at a time. This ball park may be the biggest X factor in all these things weighing on how well he will perform.

  101. Today or possibly tomorrow Could be the day Harper chooses the team that he wants to play for. Of course I hope it is the Phillies as he would solidify the middle of the lineup.
    Thanks to Everyone that has taken the time to post here,I couldn’t help myself but to check this site..I bet that I have averaged TEN times per day,to see if anything new was posted.
    Does anyone know..how many posts/ comments were entered here about Harper and Manny since the end of the 2018 baseball season??
    If I were to guess it has to be in the 5,000 range!!

  102. This site drives me crazy with comments blocks. I write a reasonable length response with no offensive content and it gets blocked or spammed. Ugh!!!!

    1. It holds comments that have “suspicious” content, as well. That’s probably what you keep running into.

      Suspicious in this case means it matches an algorithm that identifies spam/bot posts.

  103. If I am the Phillies, I tell Boris, i am pulling my offer if he does not sign by Friday. I negotiate deals for my livelihood where the transaction can be 100s of millions of dollars of investment by my clients and my company’s fees are millions of dollars. The hardest lesson I had to learn is the ability to walk away and take the chance of losing the deal. There are some deals you simply cannot win.

    There is nothing wrong with the Phillies approach. They should not overpay just because one agent/player has unilaterally determined his market value. I don’t think that Harper is a once in a generation talent. He is an all-star level player with a few warts that are quite bluntly, a concerning.

    As for Boris, he is impossible to have a relationship unless the team is over paying. He is great at what he does but a nightmare for the other side as he has no moral floor when it comes to client advocacy

    1. I agree with virtually everything you’ve said.

      If I’m the Phillies, going into these negotiations I probably have a very good idea of the contract sweet spot (full comfort level) and a cut off point (where you just won’t go), and at some point, probably, I make the final monetary offer and tell them if you want to discuss other deal terms we can, but there won’t be more money and, oh yeah, if we can get this done by Friday, great. Otherwise we are out, although we’d be happy to take a call, but with no promises and a clear statement that the money’s not going to improve.

      Also, if I’m the Phillies, I do take one valuable lesson out of this – and it really has nothing to do with how they’ve handled this particular negotiation, which maybe wasn’t perfect, but doesn’t seem so bad. The lesson I’m taking out of this is don’t ever plan a major portion of your offseason around a Scott Boras negotiation. It’s not that losing Harper is so bad (it isn’t good, but stuff like this happens), it’s that he takes so freaking long with his negotiating games that by the time you’re done, all of the other free agents are gone and now you’ve got to go into the trade market and overpay with the assets you can least afford to lose as the talent-starved Phillies – prospects. If I had to do this all over again as the Phillies, I sign Brantley and McCucthen and then if you get Harper, great, you have a surplus of outfielders and someone will probably have to be moved during the year. If not, you’ve still upgraded and you’re not completely behind the 8 ball.

    2. Couldn’t agree more, Hoopsage. Rankings are highly subjective, but SI ranked Harper the 20th best player and Bleacher Report had him as the 6th best OF. Giving him a record breaking contract well into his 30’s does not seem wise.

      1. Catch and RG, appreciate the additional commentary. We see through the same lens.

        Also agree with Sampson’s comments. And appreciate Bossssss insight. Still does not rule out the Giants.

        It is so true that only Boris and Harper know the true situation. Boris wants it that way. The hardest thing to do with these deals is put it aside especially when it is so public. The Phillies went to school on Boris last year during Arrietta negotiations.

        They know the Boris playbook. It is not impossible but highly unlikely that the giants would give him a monster deal . They appear to have many other issues.

        I commend the Phillies approach

  104. However … Todd Zolecki seems more negative with every tweet.

  105. Some Zolecki highlights:

    If I’m the Phillies, I’m beyond frustrated.
    My feeling is he’s not coming here.
    Winning team needs to beat MM’s 10 yrs/300 million, Stanton’s 325 million total guarantee, Greinke’s 34.5 million AAV.
    There is definitely some pressure from MLBPA on Harper to chose the highest offer. Doesn’t think Boras has ever left money on the table in any previous negotiation.

    1. If A>B and B>C, then A>C. If the Phillies have the most money on the table, why is Zolecki doubtful that Harper signs here? Don’t get that logic.

      1. He says Harper wants to be on West Coast. Players union wants him to take most money, and Boras never leaves money on table in negotiations.
        He did mention Jim Thome. Said Thome preferred to stay in Cleveland, but felt the pressure from the union to take highest offer so he came to Philadelphia. Thome ended up loving Philly.

        1. I’ve heard that Charlie Manuel almost demanded that he take the Phillies’ offer and he always listened to Charlie.

        2. He prefers to play for the Dodgers or San Fran, not Philly. People say “west coast” so they don’t have to say he’d prefer to play for other teams. This isn’t an east coast west coast thing . . . If the Yankees or Red Sox jumped in, I’m pretty sure Harper would be perfectly fine playing with either one, on the East Coast.
          Still hope we get him but I’m now at 5/95 w him going elsewhere. Depressing.

  106. Just listened to Dave Samson (former Marlins president) on Dan LeBatard radio show. Here’s what he said:

    Lozano is way more upfront than Boras when it comes to negotiations.
    Lozano let teams know they needed to beat Padres 300 million.
    Boras lies about number team needs to beat.
    Phillies should just tell Boras to kick rocks, and walk away.
    While collusion is technically illegal in MLB, it happens. Mike Trout wants to be in Philly, and Trout is a waaay better player than Harper. The Phillies can easily relate a number to Trout so Mike can know what he’s worth to them.

    That’s Samson’s views.

    1. I would not argue with Samson…messing with fire, he is a monster.
      The Harper situation has already strained the fan base…what a million or two rabid Phillies fans hanging on every tweet on this subject for the last 3/4 months.

  107. Question for anyone who might know – let’s say Harper signs here for 10/350 with 4th year opt out. Does Boras get commission on the whole guaranteed money? Or much less if the player opts out?

  108. For anyone losing faith I’d recommend taking a breath, read the facts below and see if you agree with me that this is Boras just showing he is a master at his craft. Remember most of these reporters are hearing stuff from people who have an agenda. Here are the Facts:

    The Dodgers and Giants didn’t jump to the forefront until after the Nats, Whitesox, and Cubs all said they were out on Harper.

    The Dodgers have told shareholders in a written document they will not exceed the Salary Cap until 2022 (the could potential be held legally liable)

    2 years ago MLB mandated the Dodgers get in compliance with the leagues debt service rules after the 5 year grace period for new ownership. The rule states that debt can’t be more than 12 times the annual revenue of the club. Would they have room to add a 300 million + contract after just getting in compliance?

    Guggenheim Partners, overseen by billionaire Mark Walter, is facing a lawsuit filed in 2018 claiming it defrauded annuity investors by saddling an insurance affiliate with risky assets, and siphoning cash for purposes including Walter’s purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. It is alleged the scheme included how Guggenheim, Walter, then-Guggenheim president Todd Boehly and Texas oil tycoon Robert “Bobby” Patton Jr used the insurers as a “cash machine” to fund the $2.15 billion Dodgers purchase in 2012. This sum included $1.2 billion “financed by policyholder and annuity holder money,”

    In April of 2018, Guggenheim Partners confirmed it is cooperating with an investigation of its asset management subsidiary that is being conducted by U.S Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The dodgers dumped Wood and Puig in a deal that was seen as a salary dump.

    The Dodger’s didn’t make a late push for Machado after it became clear that Arenado was resigning with the Rockies.

    Harper’s 6/1 odds of being the MVP are based on the Phillies being the favorite destination according to the Superbook at the Westgate (real Vegas not some small offshore book).

    My take: When you read between the lines I think Boras is just trying to scare the Phillies into making a massive offer by making the Dodgers seem like a viable threat (and doing a great job at it). They are stringing the Dodgers along letting them think Harper would consider a shorter deal with them but waiting for Middleton to blink and give in to their demands. I can’t fathom a scenario where Boras & Harper take less than Machado received after drawing this out for this long. There has literally never been a player who took significantly less money to sign with a team even close to this late into the process . Along with that I don’t see how the Dodgers (with all their issues) could suddenly jump in and make the huge offer it would take to land Harper four months in. The Arenado signing shouldn’t move the needle that much. If the Phils signed Machado and Harper had no one offering a mega deal that would be a different story.

    One last thing I wanted to add is Boras and Harper may not be on the same page and this could all be Boras trying to save face after not delivering on what he promised Harper contract or destination wise. Ultimately he signs with the Phillies but Boras can tell Harper that he exausted every possible option.

    1. Bossss … much of what you say makes sense. However … Todd Zo is a major tell. He is pretty much the team mouthpiece.
      Your last point about Harper and Boras not being on the same page seems like it could be very valid. As Zolecki said (and history shows), Boras never leaves any money on the negotiating table. In this case, it’s sounding like Harper is willing to walk away with less money (at the dismay of the players union) to be able to stay on the west coast.

      IMO … Middleton needs to put a really big number on the table (360 million, 370 million over 10 or 11 years) and say, “you’ve got one hour to take it or leave it.” if they leave it, Middleton might be able to at least save face with a portion of the fan base. Although, it is difficult to see coming up empty on both BH & MM as anything but an abject failure. It’s obvious now, the Phillies’ game plan should have been to sign the first superstar. If Harper was the guy Middleton wanted, he should have given Boras a 24 hour deadline: sign our 10 year, 326 million dollar offer, or we’re signing Machado instead. I know hindsight is 20/20, but these guys are negotiating high stakes contracts for a living. They need to be held accountable.

      1. Zolecki is contradicting himseflf on a few things though. He just posted this:

        “I’ve been told that Philly is not an issue. Does Harper have a preference? Yes. He prefers the West Coast. But I think he is trying to see if the Giants or Dodgers can get to a number he likes. If the Phillies have a superior offer I can’t see him turning it down.”

        Why would he post that after saying our odds are diminishing and that he doesn’t see him signing here?

        As for your point about Harper being willing to walk away with less money (at the dismay of the players union) to be able to stay on the west coast. I perceive it as Boras wants us to think Harper is willing to walk away with less money to be able to stay on the west coast. If we are being honest Harper would be a Yankee if Judge didn’t break out so it’s definitely not just about the West Coast to him.

        1. Bossss … Not sure who tweeted what you just posted above, but it’s not Todd Zolecki. I just went to check out his twitter, and that tweet is not on there.

          Hey, I woke up this morning feeling good/better about the Phillies chances. I want to see Harper finish off this rebuild. However, I’ve got to be honest … Todd Zolecki is bringing me down. I hope he is wrong, but he (and Jim Salisbury) would be the most “in the know” guys when it comes to all things Phillies. Salisbury has remained silent since noon yesterday.

          1. In the course of 48 hours Zolecki went from this:

            to this:

            I hate to say it, but that is a huge tell.
            I will say Zolecki is hoping Harper just makes up his mind soon/like today because he has plans to travel back to Philly to see his pregnant wife this weekend, and he can’t leave Clearwater if the Harper drama isn’t resolved.

      2. Hinkie, I respect Zolecki as a credible reporter, but could this be a situation where the brass tries to lower the impression of impending doom before the victorious upsurge by Middleton?

        1. If I were the Phillies brass, I’d make sure not to come across as desperate in front of Boras via the media.

          I suspect Boras promised the world to Harper and with a lot of the big teams (and his current one) sitting it out, he’s starting to sweat a bit.

        2. No. More likely Zolecki is trying to lower expectations because the team can see this city flipping out if/when they come up empty on Harper/Machado.

          Again … now is the time for Middleton to put his stupid money where his mouth is. Make the offer you originally had in mind at the start of the free agency season. Make the offer you had in mind when you made the “Stupid money” comments three months ago. The offer will most likely be too big for Harper to pass up. At the very least, it will cause the LAD’s (or SFG’s) to up their offer, and make signing future FA’s more difficult.
          The Phillies spent three years clearing out their payroll to make sure they had more flexibility than any of the other big spending teams to land a superstar this winter. It’s time to stop trying to win the negotiations, and instead, worry about winning the player.

          1. The Phillies know Boras will come to them with a last look. They are probably thinking it’s better to have him come to them as opposed to us looking desperate and going to him with a Mega offer.

            1. that’s my line of last resort, the hope that boras will come to them one last time and say, ” we are going with LA or SF unless we get X number” thus giving middleton a final moment of redemption
              not sure if that happens or not

            2. In theory, what you say (waiting for Boras’ one last chance to beat the best offer) would work. However:

              * The Phillies may already have the biggest offer. As Zolecki said, Harper may take a little less to stay out west.

              * You can’t trust the best offer Boras is telling you.

              * A “take it or leave it offer” IMO is not sign of weakness, It’s more of a “We’re sick of you using us to get better offers from the LAD’s and SFG’s. Make up your mind, or we walk away”.

              To show he really means business, Middleton should publicly schedule a press conference for Boras/Harper’s deadline. Let Boras know at that press conference, he’s either announcing the team has a deal in place with Harper or he’s going to announce the team is walking away after Harper declined a deal that would have shattered any sports contract in the history of this country.

          2. Hinkie, no offense, but the team overbid against themselves for Ryan Howard. It’s an extremely poor tactic to insist on overpaying for someone due to emotional weakness.

            If the fan base revolts, it speaks to their petulance. They turned on Ryan Howard for signing a stupid deal that Rube offered him. The same fans demanding that they sign Harper at any and all costs will likely be the first one’s to turn on him if he doesn’t produce. And it’s extremely hard to produce at a level commiserate with an annual salary of $35 mil per year. Harper is a flawed player, and not a generational talent ala Trout. There should be limits.

            1. Name some players who have comparable numbers to Harper at age 26 . . . i’ll wait . . . he has generational talent. And again, Trout will be 30 with 10 years worth of games under his belt. We’ll end up playing for the end of his prime. I’m all for him signing with us in a few years but i’d rather have the 26 year old who in just entering his prime. I get that’s not a popular take bc everyone gushes over Trout. The majority should be happy tho bc we will get Trout, Harper is gone.

            2. Trout, for one. Generational talent? He’s had 3 sub 2 WAR seasons and is already declining in the field at age 26. Spent the first half of last season with everyone asking what was wrong with him.

              As for paying for Trout’s decline, what do you think you are getting with the last 5 or so years of Harper’s deal? The team that knows him the best doesn’t even want him. They’d rather overpay Corbin and reup Rendon. That speaks volumes,

            3. I understand (and respect) what you’re saying, RG. The difference is Ryan Howard was headed into his age 32 season. The team was paying him for his declining seasons.
              Harper is just 26 YO. He’s got unbelievable numbers at CBP. Those numbers are only going to swell when MLB outlaws the shift (coming soon). Most importantly, he’s going to make the team a whole bunch of money by selling tickets, raising TV ratings, and inflate merchandise sales. The team has structured it’s entire six (?) year rebuild on topping it off by adding a 26 YO stud/face of the franchise/superstar this winter. The whole reason for tanking/clearing out payroll the last four seasons was to be able to outspend everybody else this winter. That’s why John Middleton bragged about “stupid money”.

            4. You need to look deeper into his numbers. I knew someone would say Trout lol comparing someone who may go down as one of the best players ever but name another, you can’t besides the other guy on the market this off season.

              And you’re getting age 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 seasons with Harper plus 31 and 32 which is where the decline usually starts. Trout you are starting out at 30, thats the difference. I’m not saying Harper is the better player, Trout is obviously better however Harper at 26 or Trout at 30. You want those prime years with Harper.

            5. You’re assuming prime production, which is far from a given. Last year, Harper did not give prime production. The swing is risky and defense matters. The guy is 26 and may already be a sub par OF! How will the rest of his skill set hold up?

              He’s almost certainly not a top 5 player in the league, possibly not even top 10.

              As for attendance, that is no longer a big driver in revenues. MLB saw yet another drop in attendance yet once again had record revenues. The Phils locked in their TV deal, Comcast is not suddenly going to give them more money because Harper signed. Even factoring attendance, it is still dependent on W/Ls. If the Phils underperform with Harper, fans won’t show. If they win without Harper, fans will show.

              The amount of risk with a ten year mega deal falls solely on the team, not the play, or in this case the agent. No need to outbid yourself to let Boras save face in front of his client.

  109. Wow!! That’s a mouthful, Bosss. And the most encouraging take on the situation. You and Hinkie are keeping us afloat with reasonable insight and credible info. Also hope all is well with Cal Dreamin, btw.

  110. as i said above, media leaks are done by many people for different goals…but if this is true, they really, really messed up this offseason

    1. As the White Sox learned with Machado it’s not how you start it’s how you finish. I actually would feel more confident if this is true because it would just be a money issue at this point and most likely at a level everyone would ok with here.

    2. They are trying to get too cute and it’s going to backfire in their faces. Anyone who says Middletown made the right move commenting on “stupid” money just doesn’t get it. That was the dumbest thing to say and i’m sure he’s regretting it now. There was zero point to say that, ZERO. The fan base didn’t need to hear that, they already knew Harper and Machado were targets. Now you (middleton) looks like a jackass.

    3. I would rather be pissed off at Harper/Boras for leaving money on the table than being furious with Middleton for under bidding, and that by miles. That can’t end this way or the Phillies will be only drawing crickets this season.

    4. v1 … that report makes me feel both better and worse. I feel better knowing the Phillies are currently only offering 270-300 million, and that’s the amount of money Harper/Boras won’t sign for. I feel even worse knowing they didn’t move off that offer/spend stupid money to keep the SFG’s and LAD’s from getting involved.
      275 million dollars for Bryce Harper is not stupid money. 300 million dollars for Bryce Harper is not stupid money. I guess it was fine holding the line when nobody else was offering ten year deals. Now that there’s competition (allegedly), Middleton needs to go higher. Break Stanton’s record of 325 million (front load it) for all the reasons I just posted above. If he fails to land Harper, Middleton is going to look like a fool, and he’s going to be sitting in a park that’s only 1/3 filled again this season.

      The whole thing is mind numbing. Knowing that the team isn’t even above 300 million yet (if true), could lend credence to 8mark’s theory that Todd Zolecki is saying the Phillies feel their chances are remote as a way of calling Boras’ bluff (sorry I doubted you, 8mark).

      This report also backs up everything Dave Samson has been tweeting. Over the past week or so. He’s said Boras is stuck. He promised Harper record breaking money. He needs the Phillies to bid against themselves to get that kind of money. He has called on John Middleton to stand his ground.

      1. I’m telling you … this guy (ex-Marlins president Dave Samson) is worth following.

      2. I actually feel great after reading these reports. We are in the driver’s seat. Boras can schedule 100 meetings with teams it doesn’t mean he will get what he wants. Boras can say he won’t sign for less than a certain number but the reality is he doesn’t set the market. What teams will pay will set the market and the heat gets turned up every day because Harper has a reputation to protect and these antics will slowly chip away at it.

    5. This is an interesting take, but it’s seems unlikely that the Phillies are not over 300mil imo. That would be gross negligence on their negotiating part. I can see 270-300 from before MM signed. Once MM signed, it’s a baseline, the winning team needs to beat 300, that should be understood. If no one is bidding , sure they can lowball but not with SF and LAD in now.

      It’s between SF and PHI. LAD is out imo, a safety valve if SF/PHI stay below 300mil, then to save face they take a huge AAV contract from LAD

      No one knows what SF offer is, but it could be 300mil. I don’t see them getting past 315/10. A guess for me.

      This is going to drag out until over the weekend at least. Harper wants somewhere between 330-350 for 10. Front loaded, 3 year opt out.

    6. This report does not seem accurate to me. The Phillies started in on this negotiation knowing that Harper turned down 10 years and $300 m from the Nationals. Regardless of how the Nationals structured that, any rational person would know that, in order to start a conversation they needed to start with better numbers. So I don’t believe for a second they are stuck at $275-300 m. Middleton wouldn’t be wasting this much time and Boras wouldn’t be as focused on the Phillies if that’s where they stood.

      1. The Nats offer had 100 million in deferred money. They said the real world value was 244 million. Most likely no opt outs. Think of it when the lottery will pay 500 million but if you take it up front it ends up being like 244 million. 100 million in investments historically would double itself in 7 years if invested properly so that deferred money is a bigger deal than most people realize.

        1. I get it, but, to me, that set the bar. If Harper had gone to them that day and said, yes, I’ll do it, but you can’t defer the money, they would have said yes. That was the starting point so I’d be shocked if, as of today, the Phillies hadn’t offered more than $300 m.

      2. The report is either true or false. I doubt it’s true since a whole bunch of other reports said the Phillies were over 300m.

        So who benefits? I think the Phillies leaked this to dissuade the other teams bidding him up. Boras goes to SF and says “You need to beat 330m.” Then SF says “Why? They’re only bidding 270-300”

  111. From all the posts, it sounds like 10/350 million gets it done with a 3 yr opt out, front loaded. That is what they are waiting for.

    I still think the Phillies get him. The dodgers are being used to me to pressure their arch nemesis SF, and no way do I see SF topping PHIs offer. Plus, Vegas has really money on the line now too. Boras probably dropped by to give a real time update while in town.

    If for some reason the Phillies miss out, it better be because Harper is a fool and wants to be on the west coast, vs the Phillies having the 2nd or 3rd highest offer. I don’t want to hear the money wasn’t enough. It’ll make me puke.

  112. If we had signed Brantley and Corbin, along with what we did do, would that make us still worse than having Harper, better than, or about equal? I wonder if Middleton now regrets passing on Machado? Catch is right, an off season hinging on a Scott Boras client is not a good plan. Even if we lose Harper, we still need to build a playoff team. Is that adding Keuchel?, Kimbrel, both? a trade? I am already working on my “getting over losing Harper mindset”, and want to know what we do next. I refuse to give up on winning this season, and I refuse to let Middleton off the hook. There is still money to be spent, and if not right now then at the deadline.

    1. was thinking about Machado on a 10 year deal- would he still be playing third at age 35/36, which made me think about Adrian Beltre, who was still going strong at age 37/38. Turns out Beltre was also a FA at age 26, coming off his 334-48-121 season with LA. Boras was his agent, and he got 5 years, 64 mil from Seattle. How things change in just 14 years. Funny to see this article and the Dodgers feeling that Boras moved a little quickly in the negotiations- not the Boras we see today.

  113. And, I put no more weight in Jim Duquette than anyone else’s so called inside info, but if that is true and we never budged off $270-300 Million, then the whole thing was bungled from day 1. That was an offer just to make an offer, one Boras was never going to take. I hope it is bad info, because it would really diminish my view of Middleton. I don’t care what MacKlentak’s analytics say, Middleton needed to know months sgo that Boras wanted to exceed the Stanton deal. Be prepared for that. It doesn’t need to be the first offer but you better be ready to go there.

    1. I think the Phillies are playing this perfectly. It is perfectly clear that there is no long term market for Harper. The Phillies cannot bid against themselves. A long term deal to Harper has the potential for a lot dead money at the end of the deal so the Phillies need to limit that as much as possible. I

    2. matt13…..I still think MacPhail and Klentak wanted Machado over Harper…from their past experiences with him and the fact he served a better purpose on the field.
      Middelton, as the managing partner of the team, decided and vetoed their want and shot for Harper.
      And though Boras did the same to MacPhail in 2010 with Manny…..holding out until the last three minutes before the deadline for drafted players, MacPhail now saw a btter opportunity with Manny with Lozano now as his agent.

  114. For all those saying signing BH/anyone for 10 years is not a good idea. You gotta’ rememer Harper (and Machado) is unlike any other superstar FA because he is still only 26 YO. Here is a great point by Matt Breen.

    And … according to Andy Martino, Boras/Harper can be had for 326 million dollars.

    WTF !!! Just give him the extra 2.5 million per year to finish off this rebuild.
    Like I said before … it’s time to stop worrying about winning the negotiations, and time to start worrying about signing the player.

    1. TBH … dragging this whole thing out is putting Harper in a bad light. If/when the Phillies do sign him, half the fans really believe that Harper doesn’t want to be here. I got a big laugh out of this:

    2. Bryce Harper is not a 26 year old Pujols. Pujols was way better at 26. Lets be honest. All the hype on Harper is what he COULD do. He’s had one amazing season, another one cut short by injury, some very good seasons and at least 2 fairly disappointing seasons. Future production is not guaranteed just because he is 26.

  115. I am honestly now totally confused at where we are at at this point !
    one thing is for sure, Phillies fans will be furious if we lose out due to not having the top offer.

    1. I look at what the Phillies did this offseason and I think they improved a lot. But the “casual” fan which is what gave sellout after sellouts has been expecting a “stud” new batter like Machado or Harper. Some even thought when FA started they might get both.

      If 2018 starts and its with both Harper & Machado not on the Phillies the offseason will have been a failure for a lot of fans and attendance will reflect it.

      Phillies sign Harper and ticket sales will jump immediately.

  116. If Phillies folks around camp are hanging their heads in disappointment, would it not be because they took their best shot and it wasn’t enough?

    There has to be some point of disconcertedness (if that’s a word?) about one point of the whole process that weighs on them. It can’t possibly be the money, could it? And if only for PR’s sake, they can’t be outbid! That’s not an option.

    Is it?

    1. I think at this point it’s pretty clear both sides are leaking false information for leverage or to look like winners when a deal is struck.

  117. FWIW….Nola-Harper WAR…’15 thru ’18

    …in fairness Nola’s ’15 (1.6bWAR and .9fWAR) campaign was only 40% of the total season.
    Shame Harper does not have paragon Sports as his agent.

  118. I listened to WIP for months just to hear the announcement of either Machado or Harper signing with the Phils. On both occasions, I stepped out to the bathroom and missed it. Womp. Either way, historic day for the Phillies! About to go buy some single-game tickets right now.

      1. v1 … I was honestly sweating this out over the last 24 hours. I went from 100% certainty over the past two years to depression when Todd Zolecki started posting that the Phillies weren’t feeling it this morning.

        That was a wild ride ! Great to share it with all of you guys here on PP !!!

        … and … hold on for this … the 13 years makes the AAV to a very reasonable 25.4 million. You know what that means !!! MICHAEL TROUT AFTER 2020 !!!!
        If they don’t get Mike Trout in two years, I will ban myse …. forget it. It’s way too early to guarantee that one.

      2. Great news!

        What I’ve always thought about Harper, especially since they added McCutchen and Realmuto was that Harper was the tipping point. The last guy they needed to make this line-up dominant and scary.

        Job well done Klentak and MacPhail!

  119. This seems more an more like Boras doing whatever he can to get the Phillies to bid against themselves. Phils probably offered 9/270 or 10/300 with varying opt outs. Next best offer is probably maxed at $200m for six years or more likely $180 for five years. Giants an Dodgers won’t go higher or longer but to avoid Boras and mlbpa pulling out the collusion card, they can’t say they’re out. And as I’m typing the news comes out. My guess is for $300m or less with incentives that would get it to $326

      1. Romus … the funny thing is my wife booked the cruise last summer, and then told me about it. I told her OK, but I was really looking forward to heading to Clearwater in March because I wanted to get a first look at Manny Machado (pre-Johnny Hustle comments). I’ve been joking with her lately telling her, it’s OK because it might be until April before they sign Harper.
        I just called her at work to tell her about the news. She said we should stop in Clearwater for a couple of days after the cruise. Unfortunately, I can’t do that. It’s all right. We’ll get to a game early this season at CBP !

        1. Enjoy the trip with smooth sailings.
          Now when you get back it will be back to the June draft talk..

  120. Boras literally had to use every single trick in the book and concede extra years and opt outs to get us to top Stanton’s $325 million

    1. Not a fan of these deals (obvs), but the AAV of $25 mil will help them spend elsewhere and avoid luxury tax.

  121. 25m a year gives them flexibility to do something else . . . That contract is extremely friendly for at least the first half.

  122. Wow! No opt outs after the Arenado extension that included them after a couple of years. Well done Mr. Middleton & Matty K.

  123. Good job for the Front Office!! This sounds like a bargain to me. 13 years, no opt outs?!? Wow!!

    1. I expect some additional performance related clause that will drive the total contract value higher.

      1. Yea, it would. Expect the first year salary will be low with the $20M signing bonus bringing the 1st year total up to the AAV..

    1. If it really is 13 years, $330 m with no opt outs, that is an amazing contract and shows that, contrary to what everyone here was saying, Harper has bought into Philadelphia and the entire organization. He’s all in.

  124. Kimbrel and Keuchel. Maybe in a day or two after the dust settles. Are the Phillies attractive to free agents now with all the added talent this year.

  125. First of all, I salute Hinkie, who kept me sane, or relatively so!, throughout this process. And all of you who have been positive all along. Secondly, if these numbers are accurate, then the FO did a terrific job, and any doubts I had about them have certainly proven me wrong. No opt outs, no $400 Million, we got the guy to anchor our lineup, and I think the contract numbers are very reasonable. I am sure there is much more up front, and less in 10-13, but I am very pleased, and can only say “Well Done Phillies!”

  126. I’m honestly stunned that it was 13 years, not 10. Although the last years of that contract is going to be dicey (age 36+) but that’s a discussion for another time.

    I’m just happy that the saga is over and that the Phillies (and their fans) can move on.

    1. Guru…agree…13 years may be the longest , outside of Stanton’s and also Bobby Bonilla’s….maybe Boras was shooting for that length also.

    1. Let’s give all the credit to the Phillies leadership team. They had a plan, they did not fold, crumble, they stayed their course, and got their man seemingly at terms that fit their fiscal plan.

      Me thinks klentak, macphail, and Middleton are quite a formidable team and we are fortunate to have them leading our phightins

  127. I’m on record (and will go so again) as saying I don’t like Harper. He’s a great player, but I personally would have preferred Manny. So it’ll be weird cheering for him.

    That being said, I can’t accuse him of not making a commitment to Philly. Sure it’s a lot of money. But he could have gotten a lot of money anywhere, and he could have demanded opt outs. Maybe he loses 20ish million on the contract to have them added, but he’d potentially stand to make way more than that with the right opportunity. But no; the Phils committed to him and he committed to them. Full stop.

    I dislike the guy, but he’s just shown a whole lot of love for the city I love.

    1. Hopefully harper’s CBP metrics continue:
      CBP Games-110….PAs-456… HR-24 …RBIs-66… BA.271 OBP.378 SLG.519 OPS.897

  128. John Middleton is almost as happy as he was when the Eagles were headed to the Superbowl last year.

  129. Best stat of the Day:
    When Bryce collects his last paycheck the mets will still have Bobby Banilla on the books for 4 more years!!!!!!

  130. Imagine Harper, JTR, Hoskins and Trout in the same lineup within 2 yrs. (It’ll be spring training 2021)

  131. Harper got all the years (13) and all the money (330 m) but he signed with the Phillies for one main reason: He heard that Hinkie (and 8mark) were threatening a self-imposed six month ban from Phuture Phillies and he wanted no part of that happening. Good call, Hinkie! You stuck to your guns. Go Phillies! Now…who gets traded and when?

    1. ciada … thanks, but if I’m being honest I went into depression/freak out mode mid morning after Todd Zolecki tweeted the Phillies’ chances of signing Harper were remote.
      The ups and downs and ups again !

      1. Haha it really was a wave today. I think looking at David P. Samson’s tweets brought you back though

  132. According to The Associated Press, the agreement is subject to a successful physical. MLB Network and ESPN reported that the deal includes a full no-trade clause, no opt-outs and no deferred money. Harper gets a $20 million signing bonus, a $10 million salary this year, $26 million in each of the following nine seasons and $22 million in each of the last three years.

    Well played indeed.

    1. To get Harper without an opt out clause and for a $25 m AAV – which is what Ryan Howard had – is staggering. The management team played their cards absolutely perfectly. Amazing.

  133. Great job by MK, ebeenezer Scrooge aka macphail and mostly Middleton who put his money where his mouth was.
    I had my doubts
    Great job by those who believed
    What an off season
    Annual salary keeps flexibility to add pitching as needed

  134. Sign Kimbrel, and reload the farm system with prospects from trades of excess players. Be Bold, and start the dynasty!

  135. Not to be a wet blanket … but … the Harper signing means for the second year in a row … the Phillies will forfeit their second round draft pick. That’s upsetting … NAH ! 🙂

    1. Hinkie….may also loose another….if Keuchel signs now…Boras is on a roll with his new favorite team….or they sign Kimbrel..

  136. Guys, i’m On a business trip & have no time to comment but I must say this one thing— YAY HINKIE!

  137. I’m on a business trip & have no time to post, but i’ve Got to say one thing—YAY HINKIE!!

  138. Frank … thanks for thinking of me.
    One mention would have been great, but the other mention is twice as nice ! 🙂

  139. The Phillies have overloaded themselves with relievers. One or two of them will be traded during the year if the younger relief pitchers do well and that will open space for more valuable acquisitions. Also, expect players like Nick Williams to be trade chips.

    FYI – it wouldn’t surprise me now if they added Keuchel on a one year deal. But what I really keep thinking about is how well positioned they would have been if they had acquired Hamels at the trade deadline last year. Oh well. This is NOT a good day to complain about management – lol!

    1. ‘Keuchel on a one year deal’. ….that could be a Boras thing…he did it with Moustakas…may do it with Keuchel.
      Still think Keuchel will get a three-year deal somewhere.

    1. Thank you! That was a punishment for sure! I was missing out on the highs and lows!

      Welcome to Philly, Bryce!!

  140. Romus……just talked to my son in DC about the climate/opinion there on the Harper signing. He said “they’ll just go about there business as usual just like when they leave in the 7th inning of a 1 run game”.

    1. Jim…LOL…that is exactly right……got to get to the confusing Metro before the last run out of Navy Yard-Ballpark station!

  141. A tip of the cap to those of you who did not waiver in your belief that Harper was coming here. This is your moment– enjoy👍

  142. There are still Nats fans with passion and anger:

    Boo him
    But I won’t cheer if he gets hurt.
    Nats better figure out a way to sign Rendon now.
    Posted by DC Dan on Feb 28, 2019 | 3:22 PM

    Good flipping riddance.
    I can now be open about my disdain for him over the years. I always hated him, and will apparently be booing and heckling him incessantly for 13 years.
    Here’s to the guys we have. I no longer have any players I dislike on this team, and for that I am thankful.
    Let’s give Tony, a great player, guy and teammate, his money.
    “Through your existence, become wealthy, knowledge is king”- Nasir Jones
    Posted by XAGMNINETY on Feb 28, 2019 | 3:25 PM

    Philly Stadium Beer just $20 a Shot!
    Posted by olenatsfan on Feb 28, 2019 | 5:34 PM

    Yes but think how goo-oo–ood certain strikeouts will feel
    Posted by olenatsfan on Feb 28, 2019 | 5:35 PM

    and the pitch is
    slider low and away
    slider low and away
    slider low and away,
    Posted by VTRedwolf on Feb 28, 2019 | 5:37 PM

    Or High Heat, maybe
    Seems like He-who-shall-never-more-be-named struck out a lot on high strikes. (Wouldn’t bet anyone’s money on that, but it does seem that way.)
    Posted by pfs32 on Feb 28, 2019 | 5:53 PM

    I was always conflicted about Bryce Harper…
    No longer. He just resolved that. I hate him now. Hate him for signing a life-long contract with Philadelphia that puts us face-to-face with him a dozen or so times a year. Hate him because the a-hole Philly fans will re-start their old ways of organizing bus caravans to Washington every time we play them here, and try to take over Nats Park. It’s going to get very ugly, people. And I guarantee, we will hate every moment of it.
    “Brasky once hosted the Grammys, and gave every award to Corey Hart!”
    Posted by NatsNut1 on Feb 28, 2019 | 4:03 PM

    …wow….they are a little pissed!

  143. UTroll – we know your excited to be wrong!

    A few thoughts:
    This was an awesome moment,all that, I place it 3rd on my list behind Thome and lee. The 3.5 month drag out puts it 3rd

    This lineup is going to rake … without the low and outside strike 3 chasers

    Pitching is going to surprise. This team can be anywhere from 2nd in the division to WS champs, they’ll need to do their part now. The FO has set them up.

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