After a boring MLB offseason, things finally started to pick up on February 19th. Manny Machado and Bryce Harper finally signed with a team, and Nolan Arenado signed a historic extension.
I’m going to go through all these deals to give you a short recap.
1) Nolan Arenado
The All-Star third basemen has agreed to stay in Colorado for years to come, assuming he doesn’t opt out. The contract is for eight-years and worth $260-million with an opt out after the third year.
Now, assuming Arenado doesn’t opt out, that will keep him with the team until 2026, when he is 35 years old. The deal does also include a full no-trade clause, and Arenado will be making $32.5-million annually, which is the record for a per year salary for a position player. He’s a 4-time All-Star and has won a Gold Glove in every season he has played in so far (6). So far over his career, Arenado has batted .291 with 186 home runs and 616 RBI’s, which are great numbers.
It’s crazy to think that he’s better in the field than at bat, but numbers don’t lie.
2) Manny Machado
Machado was the one who started all this signing chaos back on February 29th. At the time, it was a record-breaking contract, until Bryce Harper outdid it, but we will get into that when we talk about Harper. Machado signed a 10-year $300-million deal with the San Diego Padres and has an opt out after 5-years.
Machado will evenly spread out his contract and make $30-million every year. The deal locks Machado up until 2028, assuming he doesn’t opt out of his contract. If he doesn’t opt out, he can become a free agent after the 2023 season. Machado is joining a team that finished 66-96 and last in NL West in 2018. The Padres have the number one farm system in baseball, but who knows when it will turn them into a playoff or world series caliber team? Either way, Machado is guaranteed all his money and has security over the next ten years. The first five years in San Diego will be crucial to whether he stays with the team or not.
3) Bryce Harper
The most anticipated signing of the offseason. After so much speculation on what team was going to spend the money on Bryce Harper, we finally got our answer on Thursday. The 6-time All-Star, 2015 NL MVP, and 2012 Rookie of the Year will be staying in the NL East.
The outfielder signed a historic 13-year, $330-million-dollar deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. That contract includes no opt outs, meaning Bryce Harper will be in Philadelphia until 2032, when his is 39 years old. Harper turned down multiple big offers, including an offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers that would have paid him $45-million annually. Harper also turned down multiple $300-million-dollar offers from teams like the San Francisco Giants and his former team, the Washington Nationals.
After what I’m about to tell you, you may be as puzzled with his decision as I am. The Giants offered Harper 12-years, worth $310-million-dollars. Now yes, the Giants finished with a worse record than the Phillies, but in terms of longevity like Harper wants, he will get more out of playing in San Francisco because the weather is better year-round than Philadelphia.
The most confusing thing may be the deal he turned down with the Washington Nationals. They offered him 10-years, worth $300-million-dollars with a $100-million-dollar deferred portion of the contract that would have kept them paying Harper until he was 60-years-old. Why would you turn this contract down? The Nationals are certainly a better team than the Phillies, and the pitching rotation isn’t even close. The nationals blow the Phillies away in terms of pitching, especially after adding Patrick Corbin. He could have still been getting paid well over 20 years after he retires, depending on when Harper calls it quits. But that last part was just my opinion.
These are three of the best players in the game today, and will be for years to come. It will be interesting to see who will top Bryce Harpers total value contract and when it will happen. Could it possibly be Mike Trout, who is arguably the best player in baseball right now? He will be a free agent in 2021, but that’s a whole different article we will get into another time.