Harper, a six-time All-Star, spent the first seven seasons of his MLB career with the Nationals.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
February 28, 2019

Bryce Harper officially signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on a 13-year megadeal, the team announced Friday night. Harper will wear. No. 3.

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Thursday that Harper's historic contract was worth $330 million.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Harper's deal does not include any opt-outs. Harper will also receive a full no-trade clause in the deal, per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. The contract's $330 million salary is a new record for overall dollars, topping the $325 million of Giancarlo Stanton. 

Harper will reportedly make $10 million in 2019 with a $20 million signing bonus. The 26-year-old outfielder will take home $26 million annually from 2020 through 2028 before the value drops in his last three years.

Scott Boras, Harper's agent, told New York Post columnist Joel Sherman that Harper had "average values of $45 million offered on shorter term deals. We had a full buffet."

"The goal was to get the longest contract possible," Boras said. "Bryce wanted one city for the rest of his career. That is what I was instructed to do. He wanted to stay in 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."

Boras added that the Phillies' ballpark helped sway Harper's decision. Philadelphia will introduce Harper in a press conference scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Saturday.

After a seven-season tenure with the Washington Nationals that included a National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2012, an NL MVP Award in 2015 and six All-Star nods, Harper became a free agent for the first time in his career back in October. The 26-year-old entered the market with Manny Machado as one of the two most coveted players available.

While his 2018 campaign didn't compare to his breakout season in 2015–when he led the NL in runs, homers, on-base percentage and slugging percentage–Harper still hit 34 home runs and ranked ninth in on-base percentage. He finished the season with a slash line of .249/.393/.496 and has a career slash line of .279/.388/.512.

Leading up to his signing, Harper met with a number of teams during the annual Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. Harper and his agent Scott Boras reportedly spent anywhere from five to 10 hours with team representatives and gave them a 118-page handbook filled with statistics on Harper's worth and talent. The book even compared him to NBA icon LeBron James.

The San Diego Padres—who signed Machado to a 10-year, $300 million deal on Feb. 19—the San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers were all teams once rumored to be in pursuit of Harper before he signed with the Phillies. By the end of Harper's free agency, the Giants and Dodgers were rumored to be among the other favorites to land the former MVP. 

The Phillies reportedly had another meeting with Harper in Las Vegas in which Harper and manager Gabe Kapler "really hit it off," per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Phillies managing general partner John Middleton also flew to Las Vegas on Friday, continuing discussions into Saturday.

Harper reportedly rejected a 10-year, $300 million deal offered to him by the Nationals on the final day of the regular season.

The signing of Harper concludes an offseason in which the Phillies landed two All-Star outfielders in Harper and Andrew McCutchen, All-Star reliever David Robertson and J.T. Realmuto.

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