MLBTR Survey: The Bryce Harper Contract



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The interests here are more numerous than those of Harper and the Phillies.

(1) As for Harper, he may have been looking at something bigger, but I do not see how I can say that he got a bad deal when he won $ 330 million. I can not identify myself with the ego of someone who thinks that she should be paid at the highest level of her life. I support the players who are fighting over the most money because they are the ones who play the game and the owners do not do it; but I will not feel sympathy for a guy who earns hundreds of millions of dollars, but rather hundreds of millions of dollars.

(2) We do not know if it's a good deal for Phils until Harper plays. Frankly, I guess it will be an overpayment, because Harper does not seem to have the dynamism and talent of a guy that will last until the end of his thirties, including a guaranteed contract. I expect a few good to excellent years, then a big fall to the average or the mediocre.

(3) For the players as a whole, this is not bad, but not as good as they hoped. It progresses the needle progressively in terms of the share of labor benefits. This is not the big jump that some hoped for.

(4) With respect to the management / ownership of the MLB in general, I consider this to be a significant setback. I think the teams really want to push back guarantees that are so long and have made progress in changing expectations. But with Machado and now, I think in the years to come, the stars still expect more than 10 years.

(5) For fans, I do not think it's great. Although I am a nice guy at the unions, I think the MLB teams are stuck with these contracts and are marketing a poorer product. I understand that the cost of tickets is determined by demand and not by salary costs. But I also understand that teams with high payrolls, with one or two players (often underperforming) will perceive a shortage and save money rather than reduce the net salary of management. I think that a better baseball product would be put on the ground if the payroll was lower because teams would be more flexible with alignments and would be able to reduce underperforming players. Honestly, if the range of player salaries was between 1 and 10 mm dollars a year, instead of 1 to 35 mm dollars a year, I do not think players would be motivated to play; they still wanted this performance-related wage benefit to have a lesser impact on overall alignment.

I would not advocate this system, however, because it is not economically right for the players. Personally, I would prefer to see the teams function as a cooperative, in which players and management are the owners and share the benefits for the duration of their contracts. But here in Murica, it sounds like too much communism. Big cats must lead the show, or we could finish like in Sweden.

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