- Free agent OF Bryce Harper signed a 13-year, $330-million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday
- It’s the largest contract in baseball history
- One sportsbook immediately added five wins to the Phillies’ projected total for 2019
What price free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper was worth was finally determined on Thursday. He agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Phillies on a 13-year pact worth $330 million. It instantly made Harper the highest-paid player in baseball history.
— MLB The Show (@MLBTheShow) February 28, 2019
In baseball, it seems everything is a measurable capable of being quantified. The value of Harper to the Phillies is no exception. In releasing a new prop wager on Philadelphia’s win total for 2019, one sportsbook is now projecting the Phillies will record 89.5 wins.
Philadelphia Phillies Projected 2019 Win Total
|Philadelphia Phillies’ Projected 2019 Win Total||Odds|
*All odds taken 02/28/19
As recently as February 11th, one sportsbook was pegging the win total for the Phillies at 84.5 in its 2019 MLB Win Total Odds.
Is Free Agent Bryce Worth the Price?
There is already a heated debate underway as to whether the Phillies overpaid for Harper. Considering the term of the deal – he’ll be a Phillie until he’s 39 – there may be some merit in the long-term ramifications of the pact.
Contract breakdown for Bryce Harper's deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, sources tell ESPN:
2019: $10M (plus $20M signing bonus)
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 1, 2019
But if the Phillies win a World Series or two along the way and become regular postseason participants, then it will be money well spent. Another sportsbook dropped the odds on the Phillies winning the World Series in 2019 from +1300 to +850 after the announcement they had signed Harper.
What Harper Brings to the Table
For starters, Harper is only 26, basically entering the prime of his career, a career that has already seen him win the National League MVP award in 2015. He was the eighth-youngest player in Major League Baseball history to reach the 100-home run plateau.
Harper was the eighth-youngest player in Major League Baseball history to reach the 100-home run plateau.
After a slow start last season, Harper hit .300/.434/.538 over the final 65 games of the 2018 campaign. During the past five seasons, Harper ranks fifth in the majors with 184 home runs.
Phillies Can Only Get Better
After plummeting down the stretch last season, falling out of first place in the NL East and finishing 80-82, Phillies owner John Middleton vowed to spend “stupid” money in the offseason to mold his team into a contender.
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 28, 2019
In the hubbub over Harper’s bizarre contract, it’s easy to forget that this winter, the Phillies also added outfielder Andrew McCutchen, catcher JP Realmuto, and third baseman/shortstop Jean Segura, as well as relief pitcher David Robertson.
The Phillies are the 1st team in MLB history to add 3 position players in an offseason, all of whom were All-Stars in the previous season (Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura).
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) February 28, 2019
Even without Harper, those other moves figured to make the Phillies a better ball club this season.
The reigning NL East-champion Braves went from 90 losses to 90 wins in the space of a year. It’s easy to see them taking a step back this season. You’re subtracting Harper from the Washington Nationals’ lineup. They clearly aren’t the same team.
And the New York Mets and Miami Marlins? As Emily Litella would have said on Saturday Night Live back in the day…
The Phillies and 89.5 wins? You’ll want to play the over.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.