On Thursday, Bryce Harper made headlines as he officially ended his lengthy free agency when he agreed to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies after weeks of wild speculation about his future.
Harper’s deal is a record-breaking one, with the 26-year-old to spend the next 13 years in the Pennsylvania city and taking home a whopping $330 million as a result. But what surprised many was the announcement that there is no opt-out clause in Harper’s contract with the side.
According to a report by Sports Illustrated, the opt-out clause was Harper’s decision, as he refused to allow his agent, Scott Boras, to negotiate one. Apparently, the outfielder explained that he wants to “be one with the team” and felt that having the option to back out would not provide that opportunity for him.
Not having an opt-out clause is highly unusual, with the past week’s other two big signings Manny Machado (San Diego Padres) and Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies) having opt-out clauses in their respective contracts.
From the Phillies’ perspective, it makes perfect sense that they would agree to exclude an opt-out clause, given that they have just dug deep into their pockets to give Harper the biggest deal in Major League Baseball history.
Harper also managed to secure a no-trade clause in his deal, meaning that the entirety of his 13-year contract will be played out in Philadelphia. This makes sense, as an earlier report by The Inquisitr indicating that Harper and his wife, Kayla Varner, are looking to settle in one place for the foreseeable future.
Sports Illustrated reports that the other two deals on the table when Harper finally made his decision were from the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants.
Despite knowing Harper was looking for a long-term deal, the Dodgers had only offered him a four-year contract but attached a $45 million per year paycheck onto that. The Giants had offered a 12-year deal worth a total of $310 million. Although they were prepared to increase that amount, they would have “needed to go considerably over $330 million because of California taxes.”
Early reports indicated that while the Phillies were the frontrunner, Harper didn’t want to move to the city over the distance from his hometown of Las Vegas. Any of the California options (the Padres were still in the mix until last weekend) would have brought him significantly closer to home.
Clearly, money talks and whatever rumored reservations Harper may have had about the city, none of them were big enough to deter him from moving to Philadelphia.