1 extension the Phillies should pursue and 2 they should avoid (for now)

With extensions a hot topic at spring training, who should the Phillies extend and who should they hold off on?

Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Five
Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Five / Harry How/GettyImages
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The Phillies should avoid an extension for Bryce Harper

Earlier this offseason, and more recently at spring training, Harper let it be known he would like to extend his contract and remain a Phillie for the rest of his career. The superstar former outfielder turned infielder agreed to a 13-year, $330 contract with Philadelphia in February 2019.

Harper has done and said everything he can to let it be known he values playing in Philadelphia and wants to be here for the remainder of his playing days. He even requested a contract with no opt-outs in his first deal with the team, which his agent, Boras, opposed.

The first baseman is 31 and will be 38 once his current deal expires in 2032. While Harper is motivated to play into his 40s, who knows what his level of play will be then? At some point, no matter how much he endears himself to Philly and the fans, the organization will need to move on from him.

Sports is a business where difficult decisions need to be made. The organization should only be influenced up to a certain point by their star player's loyalty to the team and city. Keeping Harper past 38 years of age is doing the team a disservice, particularly if his play is limited and has gradually declined.

With owner John Middleton previously admitting to underpaying him in his first contract, it is possible the franchise would consider working out an extension with Harper as he has requested. Considering what his age will be when his current contract expires, what makes the Phillies think he will still be productive in his 40s as he is today?

He won't be a full-time first baseman by that point, and Philadelphia will be using up their designated hitter spot for Harper. Father Time is always undefeated, after all. The franchise may be open to him becoming an advisor or ambassador after his playing days to continue to pitch future stars on the appeal of playing for the Phillies.

Harper has demonstrated his interest in recruiting other players in the past with his pitches to several players, including Trea Turner and starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, before the latter signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason.

In terms of giving him an extension that would keep him with Philly past 38 years of age, the team should pass on the idea no matter how difficult the decision is for them. Ultimately, the organization will choose to give him an extension, if I am predicting what will happen. He has been loyal and has reinvigorated the fanbase and club.