• Andrew McGuinness

Bryce Harper Signs 13 Year, $330 Million Contract with Phillies

Yeah, I'd say a contract with the largest total salary in MLB history qualifies to deviate from the Flyers for a minute.

The Philadelphia Phillies WIN the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, signing the 26-year old Harper to a massive 13 year, $330 million contract (with no opt-outs, no deferred money, and a full no-trade clause), ending one of the longest free agent decisions in sports history.

In case you haven't been following the MLB offseason, well, you've missed a lot. Of nothing. Despite billions of rumors, reactions, and fake Twitter reports of 69 year, $420 million contracts, SS Manny Machado and RF Bryce Harper remained unsigned. Machado had been a long-time shortstop for the Orioles since 2012 before being traded to the Dodgers at the trade deadline. Harper was a wonderkid, drafted 1st overall in 2010 by the Washington Nationals. For the most part, he lived up to the hype, winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2012 and NL MVP in 2015.

With free agency beginning back in November, most people expected the two to take their time. Just not this much. Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million deal 8 days ago with the San Diego Padres, putting the spotlight on Bryce. The two had been blocking many of the other big names on the market, so it was imperative that Harper made up his mind with Spring Training already underway.

While the Phillies have always been one of the biggest contenders for Harper, over the last few days it seemed like Philly was falling out of contention. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants had been coming on strong as of late, and his original team the Washington Nationals were also lurking in the shadows. Yet the Phillies, who said they weren't willing to pay Machado the $300 million he got in San Diego, opened their checkbook big-time.

This completes a whirlwind offseason for the Phillies. Owner John Mittleton said the Phillies were prepared to spend "stupid money" this offseason. And while the team had signed former all-star LF Andrew McCutchen and RP David Robertson, while trading for a pair of all-stars as well (SS Jean Segura, C J.T. Realmuto), Harper's acquistion tops them all. It also makes the Phillies instant playoff contenders, and hopefully could spark a dynasty for one of baseball's most talented up-and-coming teams.