Phillies rumors surrounding Bryce Harper have finally materialized into a megadeal.
According to the latest Phillies rumors from Jeff Passan of ESPN, the team and superstar outfielder Bryce Harper have agreed upon a contract.
Jon Heyman reports it is a deal worth $330 million, and Passan adds it’s a 13-year deal with no opt-outs. Mark Feinsand reports that Harper got a full no-trade clause.
The signing ends a five month saga of Phillies rumors and speculation surrounding one of the biggest free agents in recent baseball history.
The former National League MVP, number one overall pick, and teenage phenom slots into the middle of the Phillies lineup and takes over right field, a position that has been barren of talent since Harper’s former teammate Jayson Werth left after the 2010 season.
Since Werth’s departure, the Phillies have had eight different starters in right field on opening day: Ben Francisco, Hunter Pence, John Mayberry Jr., Marlon Byrd, Grady Sizemore, Peter Bourjos, Michael Saunders, and Nick Williams.
The addition of Harper likely leaves Williams, Roman Quinn and Aaron Altherr in a roster battle. Williams could be an intriguing trade piece for a rebuilding team looking for a high ceiling outfielder.
Harper is coming off his sixth All-Star game in seven seasons, though it was arguably one of his worst, highlighted by a .249 batting average. He supplemented that with 34 home runs and a league-high 130 walks, twice as many as the season prior.
His best season came in his 2015 MVP season when he led the league in home runs (42), runs (118), on-base percentage (.460), slugging (.649), OPS (1.109), and OPS+ (198).
Many project Harper to have another career year playing half the season in Citizens Bank Park, where he owns a career-.268 batting average and nearly a hit per game in 50 games.
Harper’s 14 career home runs in Philadelphia are the most at any road ballpark in his career.