I May Have Something In Common With Bryce Harper

Thirteen years, $330 million to sign with the Phillies.

A no-trade clause, and no opt-outs.

He and I will likely retire the same year.

(Doc’s picture used here just because I wonder what number Harper will wear in Philly.)

27 thoughts on “I May Have Something In Common With Bryce Harper

  1. Front loaded, no less. You can imagine what a shock that would be to the system of a Feesh fan.

    Anyway, thank Buddha that’s over with now. Let’s get back to baseball, shall we?

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  2. I can’t imagine why Harper did this to himself. In 5 years, the market will be different and he’s locked himself into what, $9M more than Cutch gets a year? — for 13 years? I guess he went for the guarantee, but he could’ve made more with a short contract. I guess they enjoy being the highest paid guy for one season.

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    • Interesting report on Yahoo Sports that Harper wanted no opt out as a show of commitment to Phillies.

      Another story noted that Mike Trout may be a free agent in two years, and that Harper may have accepted (relativity) low annual average to leave room in budget for Trout fishing in two year; AND that Trout grew up and still lives an hour away from Phillies and often expresses his personal fandom for non-baseball Philadelphia teams.

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  3. Harper and Philly together could be the biggest “Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it” moment in recent history. That fanbase when he has a below great season? There ain’t enough popcorn to enjoy that.

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    • I’m from central PA originally, so I know a lot of Phillie fans.

      I already commented on one’s social media post today that I’m looking forward to hearing them all take back/forget about all the bad things they said about Harper over the last seven years; “we was just foolin’, we didn’t mean it”.

      He replied that he’d never said anything bad about Harper in his life, nosiree.

      So, yeah, the honeymoon’s in full swing, but I have no doubt there’ll be some rocky times ahead for this relationship.

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    • The Phillies better hope like hell that Harper stays healthy. If you thought the Ryan Howard situation was expensive, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet…

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  4. I’m a little shocked at these posts. A few years ago, Harper was going to be the 400 million dollar man this past offseason. He’s had some injuries, but he’s still a top of the line asset and 25 million/year is a great price. By the time this contract expires, the fourth starter and the 7 and 8 hitters wil get 25 mill/year. Dodgers reportedly offered 45 million per year for four years! That’s what a very smart team wanted to pay this man. Instead Phillies get an 80% discount.

    I think you are all ahead of the curve compared to players – the new economy frowns on the extravagant long term contracts. But remember, baseball has spent less and less on players as a percentage of revenue for a decade, and the last two years are an expansion of that trend. So anytime one of us says “overpaid” we’re taking the side of the asshole billionaire owner over that of the asshole millionaire player. Except maybe Trout and Kershaw, who are not assholes.

    OK now you can start beating me up.

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    • The contract absolutely should be a bargain for the Phillies, at least as long as Harper is healthy and produces like he has on average the last seven years. He’ll probably hit close to 40HRs a year playing in that bandbox, but I have no doubt that during his slumps, he’ll hear it loud from the Phillie fans.

      Boswell’s been trying to sell the idea that Harper’s going to end up being the second coming of Reggie Jackson when his career is all said and done, and that might not be a bad comp.

      We’ll see.

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    • He’s been roughly a 4 WAR per year player, on average, during his first seven years.

      Current valuation of 1 WAR is somewhere around $7 million to $8 million, and the AAV on his contract is less than $26 million, so it’s a win for the Phillies if he’s a 4 WAR player per year for 13 years.

      Of course, as has been pointed out elsewhere, if he’s a 4 WAR player per year for the rest of his career, he’ll pass Mike Trout’s current career WAR in year 10 of the contract.

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      • I just have a feeling he won’t live up to it. He seems ripe for a major fall. I could be totally wrong and I have little evidence to support it, just a gut feeling I have. I don’t think he’ll ever approach MVP type levels again.

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        • I don’t think you’re wrong, although I think a lot of people who will judge him as “not living up to it” may not use WAR as the measure by whether or not he’s providing value.

          I mentioned up above that Boswell projects him to be a Reggie Jackson type, and that may not be far off. I expect he’ll hit a ton of home runs; he’s got 14 in 50 games in Philly in his career, and his OPS there is .930, but I also suspect he’ll slump on occasion, and that the Philly fans will be merciless toward him when he does. How he reacts to that will tell the tale of what kind of career he’ll have there.

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        • NOT arguing with you guys but adding additional thoughts. First, good stat I hadn’t thought of in WAR cost. But like everything else, inflation will grove that price up, so maybe average cost of 1 WAR will be two or three times that amount by contract end. Second Harper has been injured a lot and I think his 162 game average is likely higher than 4. Third, the random player tanking or jetting to new heights is a common. And unpredictable. The Angels picked up Josh Hamilton as a free agent for 25 million per year and everybody not named Arte Moreno could see he was declining. On the other hand Chris Davis fell off a cliff and there was not enough warning to keep the smart guys running the Orioles from giving him an armored car full of money.

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        • It’s really hard to say what kind of value Harper would put up in a full season, based on his track record.

          He’s appeared in more than 145 games three times in seven years, and his oWAR in those three years was:

          2015 (MVP season): 10.0
          2016: 1.5
          2018: 1.3

          Of course, in 2017 he was on his way to something big, with a 4.7 in 111 games until he hurt his knee slipping on first base, so maybe he puts up a 7 or 8 that year by the time he’s all done.

          He seems to be a classic “head in the oven, feet in a bucket of ice, on average you’re comfortable” type.

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