After 117 days, the saga has finally ended. As reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweeted on Thursday afternoon that Bryce Harper agreed to a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. This ended a long, drawn-out battle for the right fielder’s services that, as of earlier this week, saw the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants become the new favorites in the Harper sweepstakes.
Regardless of which team Harper agreed to sign with, Twitter would have been sure to blow up with reactions, with the six-time All-Star’s name trending in the process. That indeed has happened, as several sources took to the social media platform to react to the reports of Harper’s new deal with the Phillies in clever and/or hilarious fashion, or by bringing up interesting facts and stats related to the contract.
Sports business analyst and former ESPN writer Darren Rovell was among those who reacted within the first few minutes of the news breaking, as he noted how Harper’s contract allows him to make more money in one plate appearance than the average Philadelphia family does in one year. He did, however, point out in a subsequent tweet that the deal isn’t even among the MLB’s top 10 average annual salaries of all-time if inflation is factored in.
Former Green Bay Packers executive Andrew Brandt also shared his thoughts on Bryce Harper’s contract, comparing it with that of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, whose three-year, $84 million deal with the team is the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history.
“In the business of sports, NFL players sit at the children’s table,” Brandt tweeted.
BREAKING: AP source says Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a 13-year, $330 million contract – the largest deal in baseball history. https://t.co/7lNejHTjox
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 28, 2019
At $330 million over 13 years, Bryce Harper makes more than the annual median household income of Philadelphia EVERY TIME HE STEPS TO THE PLATE.
$44,929: What Harper makes for every plate appearance, based on career averages.
$41,500: Annual median household income of Philly
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 28, 2019
Given that Harper will be 39-years-old once his reported contract with the Phillies expires, The Ringer referenced a memorable sports rant in its tweet, suggesting that Harper could take a page out of Oklahoma State University football coach Mike Gundy’s playbook once he deals with Philadelphia media at the end of his contract in 2031. The accompanying clip is a four-second excerpt from the 2007 viral video where Gundy was calling out reporters for their unfair criticism of his players.
“I’m a man! I’m 40! I’m not a kid!”
In a separate post, The Ringer Photoshopped an image of Harper onto the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones, seemingly proclaiming him as the new “king” of the Phillies.
Bryce Harper has claimed his throne in the City of Brotherly Love! pic.twitter.com/4WwBjIVhcH
— The Ringer (@ringer) February 28, 2019
While Bryce Harper will no longer be a young man by 2031, long-retired MLB slugger Bobby Bonilla will be all of 68-years-old by that time and, as noted by ESPN, the New York Mets have been paying him $1.19 million a year since 2011, per the terms of his deferred-money contract. As pointed out on Twitter by FanGraphs‘ Rian Watt, Bonilla will still be four years away from his final deferred paycheck from the Mets at the time Harper’s deal expires.
Meanwhile, one of Harper’s would-be teammates also appears to be getting ready for his arrival and taking to social media to show his excitement. In a post he shared on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, pitcher Jake Arrieta uploaded a brief clip of himself in his underwear mopping the floor at his home, explaining in the caption that he was simply “getting the house ready” for Harper, whom he tagged in the posts.