The Phillies are suddenly much poorer. Or much richer, depending on your point of view.
Harper is only 26, so a 13-year deal isn’t totally crazy. Maybe.
The Phillies just hope the right Harper shows up. If it’s 2015 Harper, the guy who batted .330 with 42 homers while leading the league in both on-base and slugging, they spent their money wisely. If it’s 2016 Harper, who batted .243 with 24 homers, they just spend a third of a billion dollars on an outfielder with average production.
Last year’s Harper was again below .250, but that’s deceptive because he actually gets on base more often than many .300 hitters. Harper drew 130 walks last year, leading the league by a wide margin.
But here’s even more exciting news for Phillies fans – the team has set its sights next on baseball’s best player, Mike Trout, when he becomes a free agent after the 2020 season. Now that’s just getting greedy. All I can say is they better get a Brinks truck full of cash for that one, because if Harper (lifetime WAR 27) is worth $25 million a year, Trout (lifetime WAR 64) is worth about as much as the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – and he’s still improving every year.