Phillies and Harper Come to Agreement on Record Contract

I was at the ball park when news of the Phillies’ deal with Harper began to trickle through the crowd of 3800 people.  Voices got higher as excitement rose while word passed by word of mouth.  Then it got eerily quiet, even for such a sparse crowd.  I looked around and every fan over 12 and under 60 had his/her cell phone out, checking the veracity of the rapidly spreading rumor.  Within moments, the noise returned.

Reports state that he will receive $330M over 13 years with no opt out, no trade clause, and no deferred money.  His AAV would be around $25.4M.

Here are a series of tweets I received.  I’m sure many of you have seen most of them.  Some are kinda funny.  BTW, it appears that Jon Heyman broke the news.  A national reporter.  I was wrong about that.

 

119 thoughts on “Phillies and Harper Come to Agreement on Record Contract

    1. This is a good deal. Much better than expected. I think we would have been good with 10/330. Stretching it out three more years is like deferring money. It’s not likely he’ll be useful at that time, or even still playing, but the deal is actually 25 million per and I think everyone is very happy with that valuation. When the DH gets to the NL, the deal will look even better. Nice move.

  1. ….and here’s a big EEEYYAAAAA to all those other big market fanbases who look down their snoody noses at us and slammed us on social media. No more!

  2. Excellent information, Jim. Btw, It is going to be so satisfying to see Nationals Park filled to capacity with 80% of the fans wearing Phillies Jerseys with Harper’s name on the back.

    Welcome to Philly, Bryce!!!

  3. Interested to see what domino is the next to fall. I am not expecting any big dollar signings at this point, but I am interested to see what will become of the surplus of outfielders.

    I would suspect that there may be a move or 2 that will transpire in the next week or so.

  4. This tweet was kind of a harbinger last season.

    I think money was always going to the deciding factor, but having guys on the team (Hoskins/Realmuto/Arrieta/McCutchen) he likes, made the decision a little easier.
    I also really believe (and it was reported by Jim Bowden a few days ago) Harper believes he has a good chance of eventually playing with Mike Trout in Philly. Maybe John Middleton even hinted at the possibility to Harper.

  5. Jim Salisbury reports Mrs. Middleton traveled with her husband to LV last weekend.
    “Middleton’s wife, Leigh, joined Harper and his wife Kayla at dinner and stressed things like community, family and the Phillies’ long history of charitable work.”
    Nice touch.

  6. Now THAT’S a big league lineup.

    What now? I’d still love to see them add a lefty starter. Keuchel seems to be a natural fit, although he seems to be unpopular on here. Any other ideas? Dangle Williams + prospects for a younger lefty?

  7. Sorry for having doubt! There were moments where it seemed like it wouldn’t happen. I started warming up to the idea of it happening.

    Glad to be back friends!

        1. EricD…have to agree. Pure pitcher and the youngest of the three.
          Though I think every GM around the league probably knows his potential so he will be asked about I am sure.

  8. Boras on no opt-outs in Harper’s 13/$330M deal: “He wanted to go to one city, stay there, build a brand and identity and recruit players. He wants to tell players: come play with me. He knows it will help winning more if he’s with one team the whole time.”

    Recruiting you say?

  9. Congratulations to Phillies fans everywhere!! Happy day!

    I was the one who said I do not like long, huge contracts that turn into anchors to cripple the team’s future. While this contract is long it is not one that will likely cripple us. So I like it!

    Patience is my favorite word for this rebuild. And patience has paid off again! (Thankfully we did not throw $400M just to “get it done” when rumors spiked.)

    I continue to be so impressed by this FO! Not only have they made many great moves, but even more so they have resisted making foolish or risky moves in order to stick to their plan! Incredibly impressive!.

  10. Bob Nightengale posted Vegas odds going from 12/1 to 8/1 for world series, 7/1 to 4/1 NL pennant, and from 2/1 to 5/4 NL east. It’s a beautiful thing 😉

  11. I wouldnt expect a trade until they see if Herrera and Quinn are healthy. I’m sure everyone wants to take a deep breath and see what they have

    1. Sr…with Cozens hitting the cover off the ball…an turning 25 in a few months….they may see him here as a 4th or 5th OFer…..or he could also be used as a trade chip.
      He has an option left, but he really needs the opportunity to be in the majors now.
      Then there is Lane Adams who is also in the mix right now and available as a 5th.

        1. Good deal.
          You could rake on that.
          You knew about the future Realmuto trade and Harper signing back then….why didn’t you tell us! 😉

          1. I was largely banking on MM or BH being signed along with others. If I knew of JTR, Segura and Robertson also signing, I would have put much more down………..and then I would have given out the Powerball numbers;-)

  12. Romus, you repeatedly stated the correct contract value no matter what else was said. Well done!

    Hinkie, I’ve respected how you stayed steady in your confidence for a deal no matter the rumors out there or the roller coaster other fans were riding.

    FO,I just can’t say enough about how impressive each move and non-move has been! The stories of Klentak being difficult is paying off! Go Klentak!

    Jim, you run the greatest site! Thank you! Now we can all focus more on your insights from Clearwater! You ROCK!

  13. I agree with you John K. Jim, giving us this outlet has been simply terrific, and I can’t tell you enough how appreciative I am. All of you who frequent this site have made going through the ups and downs so much easier to handle. It felt like we all shared the angst and the joy together, and we have jim to thank. We have a lot of prospects to catch back up with, and let’s see if we can grow the next Harper, Machado or Scherzer!

  14. Very impressed/surprised to hear that there aren’t any opt outs. I think that says a lot about the competitiveness of Harper. I really thought the deal was going to be closer to 10yr/350mil. Can’t wait to see him in our lineup on a daily basis and I’m even more excited to see CBP packed every night.

    Klentak had a terrific offseason. In my opinion, the most underrated move was finding someone to not only take Santana, but getting an Allstar caliber SS in return. He didn’t have a ton of leverage after signing Carlos last offseason, but found a way to unload him and improve the team. I’m hopeful that the rotation will be strong enough with an improved lineup and defense. However, if we need to add an arm at the deadline I’m confident that Klentak can do it without sacrificing more than he has to.

    Here’s to Harper and co. bringing Middleton that trophy back sooner rather than later.

  15. Don’t forget the very real possibility of the NL getting the DH in a few years. Harper could move to 1b but not now with Hoskins there for a long time.

    Great job by Middleton’s , MK and the entire Phillies organization.

  16. This was really well done by all sides. Phils committed for a long time but at a far from insane AAV. Boras got the biggest contract. Harper is rich, and IMO will win over fans in light of the no opt out/full no trade. Any doubts he dreaded Philly were erased.

  17. Hats off and cigars all around for Middleton and MacKlentak. They have proved beyond any shadows of doubt that they can navigate the murky waters of free agency and high end negotiations. While we all hope their track record for identifying and developing young talent is well established sooner than later, they certainly have bought themselves our patience for that process. Well done, gentlemen and carry on!

  18. The lineup will likely be constructed daily based on matchups and maximizing ABs, it would seem to me that 5 of the top 6 hitters will be Segura, McCutchen, Harper, Hoskins and Realmuto in some variation. Herrera and Franco will likely be toward the bottom with Hernandez either leading off or batting 8/9. If Kingery’s spring continues to be productive, what depth we’ll have to this roster. I would love nothing more than to see Cozens force himself into significant playing time as well, I’m beginning to salivate over the power throughout this roster.

    1. Well, with Doc heading to the HOF, and Franco already wearing 7, my guess is he’ll buy #25 from Dylan Cozens with a case of beer. Make that 3 cases. And a box of cigars compliments of Big Bad John.

  19. Yes, I’m aware that it’s March 1st, but Dylan Cozens is looking pretty good. Phillies have the best record in the Grapefruit League, 18 hitters batting .300 or better, and 12 pitchers with an ERA of 0.00.

  20. Two interesting thoughts
    1. The reports are that the second place bid was San Fran at $310/12. But since California income tax rates are 10% higher than PA’s tax rates, that means that the real delta was Phillies at $330 and SF at a tax adjusted $279. That is a $51m difference. Huge difference.

    2. Listen to the video breakdown on this…basically the entire time Boras was waiting for $326m to get it done, and the Phils were not there until yesterday. https://twitter.com/JoeGiglioSports/status/1101340453335695360?s=20

    1. Harper will pay a fortune in City Of Philadelphia wage tax in addition to the PA state income tax. 3.4567% for non-residents, 3.8808 for residents.

      1. Again….the 81 games in Philly is what the city wage will be based upon…correct?
        Living outside the city there will be the state tax….be in PA or NJ.

      2. And, yet, still much less than California taxes.

        The most surprising thing about this deal, really, was Harper’s unselfishness. Sure he wanted a lot of money – even the most money. But what he really wants is to make one team his home, dedicate himself to that team and win. Giving up the opt outs which he easily could have negotiated with the Phillies and other teams is a huge deal. And, also, the $25.4 M AAV is, relatively speaking, a pittance for one of the most high profile free agents in baseball history. It’s virtually the same as A-Rod received over 15 years ago, which, adjusted for inflation, means it’s much, much less than A-Rod received.

        Harper is all in on Philly and there are many reasons for this I’m sure. One thing that I think really helped is that, as much as any organization in professional sports, the Phillies treat their players, alumni and fans like family. I’ve gone to ST several years and I’ve been a partial season ticket holder for 9 years and the Phillies are 100% class and it’s real, not put on and the players hear about it and know about it. Kudos to the Phillies for creating that culture and to Middleton for personally selling this to Harper.

        And, wow, what a great job the Klentak and MacPhail team did in translating the team’s most abundant asset, money, into player assets while not trading away the farm.

        The infrastructure is set – they need to keep young talent pouring in, but things are coming together as well as could possibly be expected and each deal was a fair and reasonable deal. The only small overpay was McCutchen and even that could turn out very well.

      3. (PART 1)

        And, yet, still much less than California taxes.

        The most surprising thing about this deal, really, was Harper’s unselfishness. Sure he wanted a lot of money – even the most money. But what he really wants is to make one team his home, dedicate himself to that team and win. Giving up the opt outs which he easily could have negotiated with the Phillies and other teams is a huge deal. And, also, the $25.4 M AAV is, relatively speaking, a pittance for one of the most high profile free agents in baseball history. It’s virtually the same as A-Rod received over 15 years ago, which, adjusted for inflation, means it’s much, much less than A-Rod received.

      4. (PART 2)

        Harper is all in on Philly and there are many reasons for this I’m sure. One thing that I think really helped is that, as much as any organization in professional sports, the Phillies treat their players, alumni and fans like family. I’ve gone to ST several years and I’ve been a partial season ticket holder for 9 years and the Phillies are 100% class and it’s real, not put on and the players hear about it and know about it. Kudos to the Phillies for creating that culture and to Middleton for personally selling this to Harper.

        And, wow, what a great job the Klentak and MacPhail team did in translating the team’s most abundant asset, money, into player assets while not trading away the farm.

        The infrastructure is set – they need to keep young talent pouring in, but things are coming together as well as could possibly be expected and each deal was a fair and reasonable deal. The only small overpay was McCutchen and even that could turn out very well.

        1. Almost half-billion dollars allocated to be spent this off season (Harper, Cutch, Robertson, trades et al)….nothing stupid about that since it was calculated and done properly.

        2. Oh yes, and true to their predictions, they are buying the bats and trying to grow the arms. When you see a deal like this you can understand the generic wisdom of that approach. There is no way you would want to sign any pitcher to anything more than a 6 or at most 7 year deal, no less a 10 or 13 year contract. Too many things can go wrong with a pitcher – any pitcher. But they were still able to secure their very best arm to an affordable 5 years. Perfecto.

    2. V1 I pointed this out in my post yesterday. In fact one of the tweets Jim posted above pointed out that the Giants offer was 310 million but would have to have been 360 in order to match the Phillies $330 million. To clarify, the CA state income tax rate is not 10% higher than PA. It is actually 10 percentage point higher which means it actually over 400% higher.

      The CA rate is 13.3% PA is 3%. Since state income tax is prorated by state in which you earn your money, it is probably about a $25 million dollar difference. Even for a contract as large as Harper’s, that is real money.

        1. Based on the fact that Boris utilizes the state tax differences to drive up the top line and as a selling point for the destination, he must have to pay the full freight. Phil Mickelson recently went on a very public tirade on the level of state tax

        2. Romus I am really confused with all the talk about him and west coast. If the dodgers really offered him 45 for 4 yrs. that’s 180 million and he would be thirty. Sure he would get the other money in a five yr deal. This whole process drove me nuts. with all the talk. 14 minutes before it came out He agreed with phillies a site said, phillies are already booing for missing out. Hinkie good job sticking to your guns.

          1. rocco….welcome back….and behave this time.
            Harper said it best…wants to stay in one place and does not want to be FA every 4/5 years.

      1. Thanks for that. Getting into a bit more detail, as a SF Giant, Harper would play about 100 games per year in CA. As a Phillie, he will play about 10 games per year in CA. That’s a difference of 90 games, or about 55% of a 162 game season. Using the tax rates of 13% for CA and 3% for PA, and using a total contract value of $330M for both the Philles and Giants, the state tax difference over the life of the contract would be about

        .55 x (.13 – .03) x $330M = $18.15M

        Granted, this is based on some simplifying assumptions, but unless I’m missing something significant (possible, as I’m hardly a tax expert), it should be a reasonable estimate.

        And of course, the above assumes an equal contract offer from both the Phillies and Giants, which apparently was not the case. To that end, the year by year breakdown of Harper’s Phillie contract is:

        2019 – $30M (includes a $20M signing bonus)
        2020 thru 2028 – $26M per year
        2029 thru 2031 – $22M per year

        1. It is not just the games played in each state. It is the days you are domiciled in the state. So the off days he is here in philly, he would be taxed at the PA rate. And you have to factor in all the other states where the state tax rate is lower on nonexistent (like FL). The savings is probably close to 23-25 million over the 13 years

        2. While all of this may be true, it’s his grandchildren or maybe great grandchildren who would lose out. It’d be hard to spend all the money he’s going to have by age 38.

      2. Yes, but the premium is not that much higher because, as someone noted, Philly has a significant wage tax of about 4%, so he would being paying a little less than twice the amount of tax in California, not 4 times the tax.

        1. Trout also has to figure that CA wage killer into any extension he may consider with LAA. Which lessens their chances that he would agree.

        2. I think that is why most of the players live In Voorhes, but at 25mil for the foreseeable future, I wonder if he doesn’t mind lol

          1. That $20M signing bonus should not be subject to state tax as Harper is a Nevada resident (no state tax) and even if he signs his contract in Clearwater and receives his check there it will not be taxable (no state tax on FL). He so far has no contact with Philly or PA. Of course I am just playing tax attorney on this board.

  21. For those who will be heading down to the Nations capital this season:
    Dates to mark…April 2nd and 3rd and also June 17 thru 20 at Nationals Park.
    Then finally Sept 23 thru 26.
    I assume also sections 136 thru 143 tix are going to be gone pretty fast.
    Mike Rizzo’s past tendencies…better jump in and get them before their GM puts his block on certain zip codes north of Maryland.

  22. Endless discussion and angst over contractual terms and money has driven me bananas. Takes away from actually rooting for wins and caring about your team. I’m just happy we’re gonna have a great right fielder.

  23. In recognition of the superior efforts of Phillies Vice President and General Manager of baseball operations this off season, I am granting a general amnesty to all blocked/banned accounts.
    Remember that we do not allow –
    1.) multiple names associated with a login account
    2.) personal attacks on readers, commenters, players, managers, coaches, front office employees, writers (me), anybody
    3.) commenting as another commenter
    4.) selling of baseball memorabilia
    5.) political discussion

  24. This was per MLB Trade Rumors: “because the Phillies were worried about losing Harper to a shorter-term deal with a record-shattering average annual value, they put forth three separate offers: a short-term deal with that same type of AAV, a “mid-term” deal and the 13-year, $330MM offer to which Harper eventually agreed. Tacking on those final three seasons without actually upping the $330MM guarantee many expected it’d take to sign Harper was indeed a means of lowering Harper’s luxury tax hit to provide future flexibility when constructing rosters.”

    I’m a long-time reader but VERY infrequent poster (you all have excellent, insightful discussion on your own), but just wanted to chime in and say that I think we really need to step back and appreciate the collective efforts of the FO this off-season. Long criticized as not being forward thinking or nimble enough, they geared up for this offseason and went for it with smart, calculated deals, none of which really feel like overpays. I’d argue that their trade deadline moves in ’18 (outside of not landing Hamels) were a harbinger of a successful ’18-’19 offseason. Even with Harper, the preparation of three separate deals indicates they NEVER intended to lose out. The FO has earned my trust sort of like Roseman has. Remains to be seen how it plays out on the field, but I’m thinking that they can bring us a championship in the next couple of seasons. There’s still talent in the farm and dollars to be spent!!! Great time to be a Phillies fan (especially if you stuck with them through the down years).

    1. All hail Middleton! Klentak proved his worth as well. Time to enjoy the ride, this team, and all the city teams are on the way up. Pretty crazy time. I’m just going to enjoy it, from all futile years I’ve been a philly sports fan

  25. Just bought tickets for opening weekend (Sunday night game vs Braves; opening game wayyyyy to much). Could have got the same tickets yesterday morning for $50 that I spent $130 on this morning. Screw you Harper!!! Haha. Anyone else wake up and pinch themselves?

      1. I never once said that I didn’t want him. That wasn’t my stance at all. And I was never one who said “screw him I don’t want him anymore”, I just thought that he preferred the west coast and would take less to go there. When in all actuality he really took less (or at least potentially less) to come here. I was wrong and listened to too many BS rumors. Will always admit when I’m wrong (and in this case happy to be wrong) I’m more than happy he signed here.

  26. This off season (which still isn’t over) has been unreal for us Phillies fans . . . Could this be possibily the best off season in sports history? How many teams in any sport add 3 All Stars in an off season (with one being the best at his position and another being top 5-7 at his position) and several other quality players

    Also and this may have been said but Harper will end up going in the HOF as a Phillie and will end up playing here longer than Utley, Hamels, Howard . . . Weird to hear/thing about that.

  27. If Cozens proves to be the real deal, put him in the lineup at CF and do not think of trading him. Image him with Harper and Hoskins.

    1. Cozen’s isn’t close to being a CF. If he becomes an actual ML caliber hitter he would force them to do something with McCutchen or play Harper in CF (where he is sub-standard)

        1. Denny, I get you’re vested interest but Cozens has played a total of 37 games/308 innings in CF over 7 minor league season. He’s obviously not viewed as a CF candidate by the organization.

          And it never helps an argument to pick out an all-time, HOF outlier as your comp…

  28. Thought about the lineup some. While I know Kapler will tinker here and there (though with this cast he need not nearly as much as he did last season), I really hope he allows Harper to hit between Hoskins and Realmuto. Whether it’s Hoskins-Harper-Realmuto or Realmuto-Harper-Hoskins, doesn’t matter except for maybe the opposing pitcher or some analytical quirk. If that heart of the lineup sustains the production we expect it to, this team will score seriously crooked numbers, as Uncle Charlie likes to call it. Segura and Cutch will hit pretty much wherever they are slotted. Let the rest of the lineup figure themselves out.

  29. Kudos to Middleton, Klentak and McPhail as their offseason was good but became great with the Bryce Harper signing. I was not sure Harper would sign here but he did. Now we need to upgrade our Starting Pitching to be true WS threats.

    1. Give Mrs. Middleton some credit too. Bryce’s wife really gave her a nice hug. Give her a hold to John’s save.

  30. Winning championships is great … but … this is why I really love sports !

    In the past, I’ve posted a clip of a young kid brought to tears after Mike Trout signed a baseball for him. It always touches me when an athlete or team can make a young boy or girl this happy/excited. Best of luck as a Phillie, Bryce ! Hope you continue to make kids (of all ages) thrilled to root for you !

  31. I’ll admit… I was wrong. I said back in December that the Phils would not get Harper or “the other guy”. And they got Bryce for a generation and at a very reasonable price. Everything is good. Now let’s back to our regularly scheduled program. There are only 8 comments on the June draft thread.

  32. That press conference . . . Wow. I honestly never knew much about Harpers personality but it was not was I expected. I thought he was a closed off guy who is arrogant . . . Not even close. I actually feel bad that I’ve had that impression. He’s going to thrive here.
    And yes, he mentioned the one whose name we shouldn’t speak of.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Harper at an Eagles game with that “someone he shouldn’t speak of”. 🙂

      1. Ah-oh….he likes the Cowboys. Lakers, UT football before marriage…after marriage Buckeye football as his wife suggests….so he will need some convincing.

    1. Samson has mentioned recently it’s very easy for the Phillies to pass along the number they feel Trout is worth to them. In fact, I heard him on a Miami radio station, suggest it happens in MLB frequently.

  33. My neighbor signed with the Phillies! As I’ve been strutting about town in my Phillies gear, people have come up to me and told me that they knew him since his little league years. Between the white lines he is very intense, but off the field he is gracious and humble.

    1. Wawa…..now both of you are Harper neighbors…if near Henderson….when he is home in Vegas.
      “Harper dropped $2.7M on the mansion….. five bedroom, six bathroom, 7,395 sq-ft property is located right off a golf course and features some tremendous amenities. ….with a beautiful pool and outdoor entertainment area for those steamy Vegas days, the master bathroom has an incredible mid-room bathtub and his wine cellar is stuff of dreams.”
      ….go on over sometime..

      1. Romus – The house in Henderson is used more for large family get togethers. He has another house in Las Vegas (a cabin I’m told) near the foothills of the Red Rock mountains. It’s equivalent to Philly people having a second house at the shore.

        1. Wawa…….the life of the rich and famous….but I bet he doesn’t have the rich and flavorful full- body tasting Wawa coffee in either place….and you do. 🙂

  34. Spring training update. The Phillies have the best record in baseball, 13 pitchers have an ERA of 0.00, and 18 hitters with a BA at or above .308. All of this is WITHOUT Bryce in the line up.

  35. Living outside of Denver, I was listening to some sports radio guys who were discussing which player had the most pressure on them to deliver, Harper or Arenado. They, being the homers that they are said emphatically that it was Harper. I disagreed and thought Harper had all the pressure in the world to bring a title to the Nats. But, now that he has the 13 year contract and the peace of mind that he will be playing his entire career in Philly, not so much, especially in light of who the Phillies are, and will be placing around him.

    I think Arenado is a hell of a player, but I believe he has all of the pressure to bring a WS to Colorado with his extension. Thoughts?

    1. i think pressure naturally is going to be much more in Philly than Denver, and Arenado was paid in part for what he’s already done in Colorado. Think the expectations for Bryce and the Phils team success are much higher than for Arenado and the Rockies.

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