Jaffe: Bryce Harper gets his record-setting deal

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs on February 28, 2019:

Our long ex-National’s nightmare is over. According to a flurry of reports, Bryce Harper has agreed to a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies, who apparently withstood late challenges from the Giants and Dodgers in landing the 26-year-old former overall number one pick. Thirteen years, as in through the 2031 season! That means Harper will still be in Philly when Gritty is bar mitzvah’d.

In the end, Harper and agent Scott Boras toppled Giancaro Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million extension (signed in November 2014) for the claim of the largest contract in baseball history. With an average annual value of “only” $25.38 million, the deal merely ranks 14th all-time, and third this winter behind Nolan Arenado‘s just-completed eight-year, $260 million extension ($32.5 million AAV) and Manny Machado’s 10-year, $300 million free agent deal. Philly-wise, it edges the $25 million per year of Ryan Howard and Jake Arrieta as far as the franchise record is concerned. It’s worth noting that the lower AAV over the longer time frame would allow the team some additional flexibility if, for example, a certain Millville, New Jersey native were to test free agency following the 2020 season (h/t Joe Sheehan). Via Cot’s Contracts, the team’s payroll for Competitive Balance Tax purposes is just shy of $188 million, leaving open the possibility that they could still sign Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel and still wind up under the $206 million threshold.

Read the full article here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/instagraphs/bryce-harper-gets-his-record-setting-deal/

Originally published: February 28, 2019. Last Updated: February 28, 2019.