It took until almost March for Harper to get signed, but he will be staying in the NL East. "He was holding out for somebody else".
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. "It is very hard in this time to get length of contract that takes a player to age 37, 38, 39". 13 years, no opt-out.
Unless Kimbrel will drop his asking price to a three or four-year deal, I don't see the Phillies jumping into that anytime soon.
The outfield fence at CSN in Henderson has Harper's jersey number 34 permanently retired.
His best season came in 2015, when he led the N.L. with 42 home runs and a.460 on-base percentage. He led the NL in walks previous year and has posted a.279 average over his career, with 184 home runs and 521 RBIs. With Harper, they weren't involved at all even though he's a 26-year-old superstar with lefty power and patience, two traits that define the Yankees historically.
"The way I view it, 10 years, 330 (million) would have been a good deal at 33 (million) a year". According to Jon Heyman, the Dodgers did not offer Harper a deal 10 years in length.
Now that Harper's contract is on the books, what else could the Phillies look to do at the tail end of a very busy offseason?
While there was a time when it seemed like Harper was on the verge of signing with the Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants have re-entered the talks in a big way. In addition to Harper, Realmuto, Segura and McCutchen, the Phillies still have Rhys Hoskins and Maikel Franco, along with Cesar Hernandez and Odubel Herrera rounding out the projected starters.