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Does Bryce Harper Deserve to Be a $400M Dollar Man?

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Bryce Harper” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Washington Nationals all-star outfielder Bryce harper recently just rejected a 10-year, $300M no opt out deal, which would have been the second largest contract in MLB history. After rejecting this deal, it makes you wonder just how much it’s going to take for anyone to sign Bryce Harper. It also makes you wonder how much money he’s actually worth.

When Alex Rodriguez got his historic contract in 2008, which was $275M, he was coming off of a year in which he led the league in runs (143), Home Runs (52) and RBI’s (156), while also putting up a .314 batting average. In 2014, When Giancarlo Stanton signed his $325M contract over 13 years, the largest contract in baseball history, he was coming off a year where he tallied only 24 home runs, 62 RBI’s and a .249 batting average. Now, these are two very different seasons that resulted in the two largest contracts in sports.

Harper is coming off a year where he tallied 34 home runs, 100 RBI’s, 13 stolen bases, and a .249 batting average. He wants a $400M contract. However, throughout his seven-year career, Harper has put up numbers almost unbelievable for someone so young.

At only 26-years-old, Harper should have a long a career left in him, assuming he doesn’t have any major injuries that force him to retire early. In his career so far, Bryce Harper has 922 hits, 184 home runs, 521 RBI’s, 75 stolen bases, with a career .279 batting average. Harper has also made the all-star game in six out of his seven seasons, 2014 being the only year he did not make it, as he was plagued with injury.

Bryce Harper won rookie of the year in 2012, and NL MVP in 2015. Without a doubt, Bryce Harper is already a future hall of famer and may break many offensive records, assuming he stays healthy.

But $400M is a lot of money to gamble on one player who has been known to get injured a lot and not be able to control his emotions very well. Now, he’s 26, so his attitude will get better with age, you would guess. The big question is:

Will He Get $400M, and What Jersey Will He Be Wearing Come Spring Training in February?

It seems like after rejecting the Nationals offer, he will not be playing in Washington DC for the first time for his major league career. Originally, it was thought the favorite to sign Harper would be the Chicago Cubs so that he could team up with longtime friend Kris Bryant, but that hasn’t been in the news much lately, as there are some big obstacles that could prevent him from going there.

Jason Hayward currently has $106M to play right field through 2023. The obvious choice seems to be the New York Yankees because they are known to spend money and already have a star-studded outfield in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. But could they really take on that contract? They already took on Stanton’s $325M contract. Aaron Judge is going to be a free agent and is going to have arbitration available in 2020 and be a free agent in 2023. He is an obvious franchise outfielder for the Yankees.

It now seems unlikely the Yankees will try for Harper, as the contract load would just be way to big on their luxury tax on top of all the “baby bombers” who will be hitting free agency soon.

Shockingly, it looks like the favorite team to sign Harper is the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are a very young team and have been gearing up for this year’s free agency class for a long time. Bryce Harper does have good numbers in Philly. In just 40 games there, Harper has 12 home runs. Bryce Harper could be the extra step they need to be a contending team in the division. Bryce Harper’s agent seems to really like Philadelphia. It will be interesting to see where Bryce Harper will be playing next season and for how much.

To see more on potential landing spots for Harper, check out Cullen Jekel’s article, “Potential Landing Spots for Bryce Harper” here: https://fourthquartersports.org/2018/10/25/potential-landing-spots-bryce-harper/

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