December 9, 2023

How Bryce Harper’s contract has become a bargain


Harry How/Getty Images

Let us flashback to the 2019 offseason when Manny Machado and Bryce Harper headlined the market.

Remember when Phillies fans debated whether Machado or Harper should be signed to their club to an immense contract?

Well, I think John Middleton and the Phils made the right choice.

Machado, who initially signed with the San Diego Padres to a 10-year $300 million deal, has now received another deal.

Machado and the Padres agreed on an 11-year, $350 million contract extension, including no opt-outs and a full no-trade clause. ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported the deal. He was going to opt out of his contract signed four years ago after this season.

So the Machado contract ends up being 15 years, $470 million. When all said and done, the Padres will have paid Machado $140 million more than the Phillies will have paid Bryce Harper, who signed a 13-year, $330 million deal in 2019, and they will have him for just two additional years. Harper, also, did not receive any opt-outs in his contract so this situation could be avoided.

What a bargain.

The Phillies truly got lucky with their choice of Harper.

Harper, in the same time span as Machado, has an MVP, a National League Championship, an NLCS MVP., and the best statistical postseason in Phillies history. Harper has done all of this while suffering a back injury in 2020, getting hit in the nose by a 98 mph fastball in 2021, a UCL injury, and a broken finger. Harper has not had the best of luck in the past four seasons, but when he is on the field he is one of if not the best players in baseball.

What has Machado done?

Well, he is still a very good third baseman. But he has not come close to any of those achievements reached by Harper, even while being healthy.

Harper also leads Machado in the following offensive statistics while having 248 fewer plate appearances due to injury: Batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, OPS, OPS+, and doubles.

Machado is not worth $470 million for 15 years. Harper is. Middleton looks like a genius, and he is.

Leave a Reply