Bryce Harper signs with Phillies! What you need to read
by Scott Butler 3/5/19

Jim Salisbury and Bryce Harper

You know what happens when your team signs the Bryce Harper to the most expensive contract in baseball history? Lots and lots of words get written about it. The hard part is deciding which ones to read. Here's a list of most of the good stuff and a few of the best lines and quotes. Enjoy!

The craziest Phillies offseason ever: Inside the winding path that led to Bryce Harper

Matt Gelb - The Athletic

If you read one Phillies article this week, read this one (subscription required). Here's how much I liked it:

Why signing Bryce Harper for 13 years allows the Phillies to maximize his prime years

Matt Gelb - The Athletic

“I think the thing that separates John,” [Andy] MacPhail said earlier this month, “is that if we won this year, he would want to win just as much next year and the year after that and the year after that, which is one of the reasons why it is essential to us to make sure we have enough resources to address future needs as they evolve from year to year.”


“He wanted to go to one city, stay there, build a brand and identity and recruit players,” [Scott] Boras told Tyler Kepner of The New York Times soon after reports of the deal emerged. “He wants to tell players: Come play with me. He knows it will help winning more if he’s with one team the whole time.”


These are problems for later. This weekend, the Phillies will unveil Harper. Two years ago, Michael Saunders was their right fielder on Opening Day. It was Peter Bourjos in 2016. Grady Sizemore in 2015. Everything has changed here, and the historic Harper agreement is the apex. The faces are clearer now. But they may not all be here yet.


Stark: No team needed star power more than the Phillies. In Bryce Harper, they finally have it

Jayson Stark - The Athletic

“Here’s what they’ve done,” said a National League scout who covers the Phillies’ system from the big leagues to A ball. “Before, they had a collection of prospects that did not fit as a team. Now it fits. Now they’ve got (very good) corner outfielders (in Harper and McCutchen). They’ve got guys who can play center field. They’ve got strength up the middle, with a good catcher, two good players who can play second base (César Hernández and Kingery) and a good shortstop (Segura). And they have a guy (Hoskins) who was a below-average left fielder who becomes an above-average first baseman. So now, all of a sudden, it works.”


Middleton’s moment: A meaningless spring game turned on its head as Phillies learn of Harper deal

Meghan Montemurro - The Athletic

“I think it sends a message,” [John] Middleton said on that morning last March. “It should. If I were sitting on another team, I’d say, hmm, these guys seem to be serious about this. … We’re serious about winning and we’re going to do what it takes to win.”


Phillies introduce Bryce Harper in Clearwater

Matt Breen -

“I think the fact that he specifically asked for the no-opt, obviously, that’s a commitment,” Rhys Hoskins said. “It’s really cool to be a part of the city, on a team where a player like that is committing the bulk of his career to that city. I think that says a lot about his character. It says a lot about the competitor that he is and we’re excited to have him on this team.”


Bryce Harper’s price tag was anything but stupid for the Phillies

David Murphy -


Inside the anxious final moments of the Phillies' deal with Bryce Harper

Jim Salisbury - NBC Sports Philadelphia


Perks and performance bonuses in Bryce Harper’s contract

Associate Press via Hardball Talk

According to contract details obtained by The Associated Press, Harper would earn an extra $50,000 each time he is an All-Star, wins a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger or is selected League Championship Series MVP. A World Series MVP trophy would be worth an additional $100,000.

He would get $500,000 if he is league MVP, $50,000 for finishing second in the voting and $25,000 for third.

Harper has been an All-Star in six of seven big league seasons and was a unanimous pick for the NL MVP award in 2015, the same year he earned his only Silver Slugger.

In addition, he gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to purchase a suite for games at Citizens Bank Park.


'I Want To Be With One Team': Why Bryce Harper Resisted the Lump Sum to Join the Phillies

Tom Verducci,

Lots of good stuff in here detailing what all went down.


Bryce Harper, in introductory news conference, says wants to be with Phillies ‘through the ups and downs’

Matt Breen -

“I wanted to be able to dig my roots somewhere, and that was through the good and through the bad, through the ups and downs of a team and an organization,” Harper said. “I want to be part of this organization. I don’t want to go anywhere else. I want to be part of this family, this Phillie Nation and, like I said, the bumps and the bruises, the good and the bad, I want to be here.”

“I’m making 26 million a year, something like that, so I think that’s going to be able to bring some other guys in as well to be able to help this organization win,” Harper said. “I know there’s another guy in about two years that comes off the books. We’ll see what happens with him.”


Bryce Harper on joining the Phillies: ‘I want to be on Broad Street’ with a World Series trophy

Katie McInerney,

Good synopsis of presser


In closing the Bryce Harper deal, Phillies owner John Middleton has his Steinbrenner moment

Scott Lauber -

"I’ve made enough money in my life. I don’t need to make more. My franchise value has risen dramatically over the last 25 years. I don’t need it to rise more. I’m here to win. I think your guy can help me win, and that’s all I want to talk about.’”

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