Bryce Harper wanted 'longest contract possible' – Boras
Bryce Harper's primary goal in free agency was to put himself in position not to go through the process again after reportedly opting to join the Philadelphia Phillies, according to his agent Scott Boras.
Superstar MLB outfielder Harper and the Phillies reportedly agreed to a 13-year, $330million deal on Thursday.
The move ends a long-running drama regarding Harper, who opted to leave the Washington Nationals.
Boras said the length of the deal was Harper's top priority, telling the New York Post: "The goal was to get the longest contract possible.
"Bryce wanted one city for the rest of his career. That is what I was instructed to do. It is very difficult in this time to get length of contract that takes a player to age 37, 38, 39."
The commitment is mutual, as the deal reportedly includes a no-trade clause and no opt-outs, which have become increasingly popular recently.
The extraordinary length of the contract — which runs through the 2031 season — gives the Phillies a bit of relief in terms of the average annual value ($25.38m). That will help not only for competitive balance tax purposes but also maintain flexibility for Philadelphia to sign other marquee players over the length of Harper's contract, a critical factor in remaining competitive.
Of course, the pie-in-the-sky hope on that front would be adding New Jersey native Mike Trout if and when he hits the market, but even if that mind-bending possibility does not come to pass, the Phillies should hardly be a one-man team going forward.
That undoubtedly played a part in Harper ultimately choosing to sign with the Phillies despite reports in recent days of a late push from the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers in particular.
"We had average values of $45 million offered on shorter term deals," Boras added. "We had a full buffet."