The manager Gabe Kapler listened to the great news from fans in the stands during the Philadelphia Phillies spring training game. His team won the Bryce Harper competition, accepting a 13-year contract, $ 330 million, with the outfielder free-agent, according to reports from league sources on Thursday at Jeff Passan of ESPN.
The Harper agreement includes a "no-trade" clause and has no opt-out, ESPN sources said, indicating that it is engaged with the Phillies for the rest of its career.
Fans showed their phones to Kapler and the Phillies, providing updates as reports got out. He said he asked them where they were getting information, fearing that it was not legitimate.
After months of waiting, the Phillies have conquered the star they craved for Bryce Harper for 330 million dollars in 13 years. David Schoenfield
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"If the reports are true, it's a great time for our baseball team," Kapler said after the game. "We are much better on the field, and Bryce Harper is a great team-mate, we would like to have him in our clubhouse, if the relationships are true".
Harper, the 2015 National League MVP and still only 26, was one of the first prizes in the harvest of free agents for this year. The infielder Manny Machado accepted a 10-year agreement, $ 300 million with the San Diego Padres, and it was assumed that Harper's total would outstrip that contract. Not only did he do that, his total beats a 13-year-old Giancarlo Stanton, $ 325 million of signed extension with the Miami Marlins.
"We had an average value of $ 45 million offered on short-term transactions," Harper's agent, Scott Boras, told the New York Post. "We had a full buffet."
MLB Network was the first to report that Harper and Phillies were approaching an agreement.
"The goal was to get the longest contract possible," Boras told the Post. "Bryce wanted a city for the rest of his career, this is what I was ordered to do: it's very difficult during this period to get a contract term that brings a player aged 37, 38, 39 years ".
Kapler, who said Harper was likely to reach third or fourth in the standings, met Harper during the off-season courtship.
"One thing we know about Bryce is that he's an intense individual," he said. "Play the game particularly well."
Following the news of Harper's decision, his chances of winning the MVP NL 2019 went from 6-1 to 5-1 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.
Harper is not the only upgrade to the Phillies roster, which was 80-82 to finish third in the NL East last season. They exchanged for the catcher J.T. Realmuto and infielder Jean Segura and the midfielder signed Andrew McCutchen and the miter David Robertson.
"It's exciting, he's a superstar player," said Harper starter Aaron Nola, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We were already a better team without him, but now that we have taken it, we need a step forward".
Nola signed a four-year extension of her offseason. He was asked by NBC Sports during the Phillies game on Thursday, what the signing of Harper meant.
"We are no longer rebuilding, and it is exciting," he said, adding: "We are ready to contend again".
Phillies pitcher Zach Eflin told NBC that the team has already had high expectations, but Harper's addition takes him to another level.
"We're all excited, I'm sure he's excited," he said. "It will be a lot of fun for many years to come."
He was asked what he says to the fans.
"Everyone can see it and see it's time to win," he said.
Former Nationals team-mate Max Scherzer said Harper's 13-year contract is good for the game. It will also provide Scherzer with a new challenge, as Harper will move into the NL East.
"Hey, we have to face it," said Scherzer. "It will be funny."
Washington manager Davey Martinez was happy for his former player.
"He deserves it," said Martinez. "He's one of the best young players in the game, I'm happy to have spent a year with him, we'll always be close, he will make this division a bit harder, but I wish him all the best really.
Harper is a six-time All-Star and was the Rookie of the Year NL in 2012. He is a patient hitter, known for hitting many homers and having done many walks, and has an average of .279 with 184 homers, 521 RBIs. and a percentage of .388 based on his career.
Harper hit .249 with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs for the Washington Nationals last season. He fought for most of the first half, but won Home Run Derby at All-Star Nationals Park and hit .300 with 11 home runs, 46 RBIs and 46 runs scored in 223 at-bats later the break. He led the NL in walks with 130 and ranked fifth in the basic percentage (.393).
He's going to a baseball field that suits him. Harper has 14 career home careers at Citizens Bank Park, the largest number of round trips on any roadpark in her career. His career slugging rate of .564 in the park is in first place among the 71 players with at least 200 appearances in the stalls. Rhys Hoskins, who will probably suffer directly behind Harper in the batting order, takes second place in the standings (.562).
According to the Baseball Prospectus, Citizens Bank Park is linked to Miller Park as the most friendly NL home stadium for left handed players in the last three seasons.
One of the main topics of discussion for citizens – and all of Major League Baseball – who went offseason was whether the team would be able to sign Harper to a long-term agreement. According to reports, he has refused a 10-year offer, $ 300 million from Nats.
He went to free agency after refusing the citizens' qualification offer for $ 17.9 million. Since the citizens are above the luxury tax, they would get an additional withdrawal after the fourth round in compensation for Harper.
In recent weeks, the Phillies looked like the first, but even Dodgers and Giants were in the mix.
Harper drove the most important championships in 2015 with 42 homers and hit .330 with 99 RBI. It plummeted to an average of .243 with 24 homers and 86 RBIs in 2016, then rebounded to hit .319 with 29 homers and 87 RBIs in just 111 games in 2017.
"He showed the kind of player he is, and now he's a grizzled veteran," National Director General Mike Rizzo said on November 7. "He's already done a lot in the game, and he's just scratching the surface."