Bryce Harper, Phillies agree to record $330 million contract
NEW YORK — Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to a $330 million, 13-year contract Thursday, the largest deal in baseball history, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Thursday because the agreement is subject to a successful physical.
A 26-year-old All-Star outfielder, Harper topped the $325 million, 13-year agreement outfielder Giancarlo Stanton reached before the 2015 season with the Miami Marlins. Harper’s average annual value of $25.4 million ranks 14th in baseball history.
Harper’s agreement, first reported by the MLB Network, tops the previous high for a free agent, set last week when infielder Manny Machado signed a $300 million, 10-year deal with the San Diego Padres.
Harper gets a $20 million signing bonus, a $10 million salary this year, $26 million in each of the following nine seasons and $22 million in each of the last three years. None of the money is deferred.
Philadelphia has been among the most active teams this offseason, adding outfielder Andrew McCutchen for $50 million over three years and reliever David Robertson for $23 million over two years, and acquiring catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Jean Segura.
After leading their division in early August, the Phillies went 16-33 over the final 49 games of last season and at 80-82 finished with a losing record for the sixth straight season.
Harper has been an All-Star in six of seven big league seasons for the Washington Nationals and was the unanimous winner of the 2015 NL MVP award.
An up-and-down defender and an unusual mix of popular and polarizing, Harper is known for the occasional contretemps with opponents, one particular exchange with a reporter about a “clown question,” and, most infamously, a dugout dustup in which he was choked by then-teammate Jonathan Papelbon during a game.
Washington took him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft and called him up to the majors less than two years later at age 19. He went on to become the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year.
His best year was 2015, when at age 22 he hit .330 with 42 homers, 99 RBIs, 118 runs and 124 walks, amassing an OPS of 1.109.
Last year, he hit 34 homers and produced a career-high 100 RBIs while walking 130 times, although his batting average dipped to .249.