Winners and losers of Harper's $ 330 million deal signed by Harper


Just over a week after Manny Machado picked the San Diego Padres, Bryce Harper will head to the Philadelphia Phillies. What does the deal mean for the new $ 330 million baseball man, the team that signed it and the rest of the baseball? We asked writers Eddie Matz, Bradford Doolittle, Sam Miller and David Schoenfield to write about ESPN baseball.

Bradford Doolittle: Yeah, that must have happened, is not it? Thirteen years, it sounds surreal, but I thought $ 330 million over 10 years would work for the Phillies. The extra length is therefore only used to maintain the annual average value for tax calculation purposes. That it's three, four or even six seasons reversed at the end of the contract, it should be worth it. The Phillies are all at the rendezvous, as they should be after reducing their payroll in recent years, and have the money and talent of the minor leagues to fill the gaps of the next few years . Get ready, NL East fans: it's gone.

Eddie Matz: What does not love? They had the guy they wanted (well one of them). It responds to limpid needs (corner hold, left-handed stick). And all it cost them was stupid money. Well, a lot of stupid money. But, if you can not spend it, then what's the point?

Sam Miller:From 2009 to 2014, the Phillies payroll was still $ 50 to $ 70 million higher than the league average. Then, as a crucial part of their rebuilding process, they reduced it to $ 40 million less than the league average in each of the last three years. It's not just that a team the size of the Philadelphia market can easily afford a player like Harper earning between $ 25 and $ 30 million a year. The fact is that most of what the Phillies had just done to their fans was to release the payroll to be able to sign Bryce Harper (or someone like him). This is not just an affair that I like well; this agreement was something of an imperative.

David Schoenfield: Here's a slightly different point of view: we all focus too much on money and ask if the Phillies have paid too much. We do not know! The contract with Albert Pujols looked awesome for the angels at the time. The biggest problem: what will be the quality of Harper? From 2016 to 2018 – which certainly ignores his 2015 monster season -, Harper's is ranked 22nd in major WRC + tournaments according to FanGraphs, behind Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham, among others. Of course, there is still hope that he can still approach 2015. Are the Phillies betting on that? Or are they just betting on eight seasons when Harper is among the top 15 hitters in the game? Will they be happy if that's the case? What happens if he already turns into a player with "old player" skills (more steps, lower average, bad defense)? The AVA is low enough so that the contract does not haunt the Phillies, but it is also likely that they entrust the biggest contract in the history of the MLB to a very good batter, but not a guy who is among the Top 10 players in the category. Thu.

Doolittle: I guess there will be a small initial rebound in Philadelphia on this, because the protracted nature of the negotiations sends the message that Harper did not really want to play there. I'm sure there will be a love-hate relationship that will develop between Harper and this fan base. But that's all good stuff! And Harper, who was targeting Cooperstown well before joining the majors, will have a better chance of racking up huge numbers at Citizens Bank Park than he would have at Dodger Stadium or (in particular) the Orc.

Matz: Bryce Harper. As a general rule, every time you can sign your name on a piece of paper and you are thus assured of earning a third of a billion dollars (more or less right), you are a winner in my book.

Miller:The Phillies. The titles of this agreement will indicate that it is the largest contract in the history of baseball. But compared to the revenue growth of this sport, and compared to previous mega-days, this superstar is not up to expectations, and the cost of the distant seasons at the end of the affair is not particularly discouraging . In fact, it looks roughly at the $ 330 million 10-year deal that could reasonably be expected for Harper – with three "free" years over time.

Schoenfield: I agree with all the above. But you know who else is a winner in all of this? Rob Manfred. Despite all the ketching of fans, players and baseball Twitter all winter on the slowness of free will and suggestions of connivance or something close, in the end, Harper got 330 million dollars and Manny Machado $ 300 million. Manfred's argument to let the market play itself is okay. The stars have had their big deal. (And, yes, some quality free agents like Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel are still not signed.)

Doolittle: The Braves have taken a very measured approach this season, to the chagrin of many of their fans. The same day reports were published on the huge increase in Atlanta's revenues, this is happening. I know the Braves want to see how their numbers grow organically with a good collection of young players – including high-ceiling players – on the way. But if none or a few of these players do not stick and the Braves end up looking over the next few years at a team led by the Harper Phillies, those glowing recipe reports could fade quickly.

Matz: Bryce Harper. If Harper fails to score 90 points, or when he is going through difficult times – and there will be tough times – he will not know what hit him. This will be the vitriol of Philly fans, who could not be more different from those of D.C.

Miller: These agreements always have a ton of uncertainty, and this uncertainty grows each year as you go along, but the only thing we can say with greater clarity is that the player who signs a contract of $ 330 million will probably be pretty good in first year. It turns out that the first year seemed to be one of the closest races in the east of NL East, with the Braves, Phillies, Mets and Nationals all projected (by some systems) to win between 85 and 89 games. So it's awful for the Braves, the Mets and the Nationals to see the year Harper gets the Phillies, and the year they can trust the value of his superstar. This agreement may overthrow the title of NL East. Of course, those other three teams could have given Harper 13 years and $ 335 million. There is a good chance that in five years Harper's contract will always be perfectly reasonable and that they will all regret not having done so.

Schoenfield: I'm going with the giants. What is their game plan? They have an old and expensive team and if they intend to argue over the last few years of the Buster Posey / Madison Bumgarner / Brandon Crawford team, they needed a powerful bat for the worst field of the league. They did not understand it. More than the Dodgers or even the Phillies, they needed Harper for their alignment.

Doolittle: It depends in some way on the speed with which things are happening in San Diego. You can see a scenario in which Machado has his best seasons there before the Padres window is fully open, while Harper ends up having a glittering first season, like that of J.D. Martinez, in Philly. In terms of performance in a vacuum, these guys are very close and I would expect them to stay that way, even though Harper's defense could be a growing problem. (If he has to go first, what will happen with Rhys Hoskins?) I do, however, answer this Harper question, because I think he'll have more chances to gain value in contributing to the aspirants of pennants.

Matz: Machado. He is much better in defense and will stay healthier in the long run. That's why he's going to win the war war.

Miller:I'm more fond of Harper's contract for the Phillies and I think I love Harper more as a player in five years, but both teams should be happy.

Schoenfield: Machado's defense capability and durability make him the best choice to win the value of his contract – but the Phillies are the best team and are more likely to make some appearances in the World Series, so maybe that means that Harper is the best value.

Doolittle: Harper. The Padres have to replenish a big rotation in the league and they could continue to be blocked by the Dodgers in the next few years. The Phillies competition east of the NL will be tough and the peloton is more populated than the Pads in the west. But there are just more veterans ready to win for Philadelphia, and if the Phillies can come to the surface in this division, they will have the caliber of the World Series. Could even happen this season.

Matz: Harper.

Miller: The chances of the Phillies are considerably better this year and beyond, the forecasts tend to flatten out. If no player has won one over the next five years, I will say that the Yankees will trade for both and they will form the World Series together. (The non-trade clauses are just openings for negotiation.)

Schoenfield: Harper and the Phillies. At this point, the Padres still have only one confirmed star: Machado. (Sorry, Eric Hosmer does not count). They will have to exploit many of these perspectives before being close to the Dodgers or even the Rockies.

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