PHILADELPHIA — At long last, Philadelphia Phillies fans, the long nightmare is over.
Free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper has, apparently and at long last, signed a contract with the Phillies, according to numerous reports.
The whopping 13-year deal is worth a reported $330 million, according to MLB Network reporter Jon Heyman. There are no opt-outs included in the contract, Heyman reports, and it reportedly includes a full no-trade clause for Harper, according to Passan.
If those numbers are accurate, Harper, 26, will be 39 years old when the contract expires. Previously, it had been reported that Harper and agent Scott Boras were looking for a deal that included an opt-out clause for Harper after three years.
Harper picked the Phillies’ offer despite late pushes for his services by the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants — both West Coast teams that seemed to have a geographic advantage over Philly, given Harper’s hometown of Las Vegas and reported preference to stay on that side of the country. Both teams made 11th-hour attempts to land Harper after Phillies owner John Middleton visited him at his Vegas home over the weekend.
The Phillies were considered front-runners to land Harper since baseball’s free agency period opened, but the process of actually landing their top target drew out over months as the talks ebbed and flowed and other suitors presented themselves.
When the Dodgers and Giants made their late pushes to land him, some sources believed the Phillies would strike out.
But their astonishing 13-year offer, with its average annual salary of just over $25 million and full no-trade clause, ensures that Harper is planning to remain in Philly for the rest of his career.
Harper is about to enter his eighth season in the Majors. Prior to this season, he spent his entire career with the Washington Nationals, where he compiled a .279 lifetime batting average and 184 home runs, 521 RBI and a .512 slugging percentage.
Here’s some of the reaction on Twitter: