At the end of last week, former free agent Bryce Harper signed the biggest deal in Major League Baseball history. His contract with the Philadelphia Phillies will see him playing in the Pennsylvania city for the next 13 years and earning a whopping $330 million.
While that’s an enormous amount of money for the Phillies to be out of pocket to secure Harper, the deal has already started to pay off for the team.
The Inquisitr previously reported that in less than 24 hours, ticket sales jumped by about 100,000 for the Phillies. And now Sporting News is reporting that within 24 hours of Harper’s jersey being released, it has broken all records for jersey sales of a single player of any team, or even in any sport, in a single day.
Aside from the rocketing jersey sales, the signing has resulted in an overall 5,000 percent increase in sales of Phillies merchandise from the exact same date back in 2018.
Harper’s jersey number will also be changing for his time at the Phillies. While he wore the number 34 jersey during his tenure with the Washington Nationals, he will be playing with the number 3 jersey for the Phillies. The change is in honor of former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, who was killed in a plane crash in 2017.
Harper kept the Phillies waiting for weeks while he considered other options. Up until his decision was officially made, the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers were still in the mix with offers of their own, although the Dodgers arrived to the party quite late, within just days before Harper signed.
His deal also does not have an opt-out clause, and surprisingly does include a no-trade clause, meaning that he will be playing out the entirety of his contract — bar injury or early retirement — in Philadelphia.
Despite the lengthy free agency, Harper stated during his introductory press conference that he hopes to spend the rest of his career with the Phillies, according to a prior report by The Inquisitr.
Phillies fans, which Bryce Harper jersey are you getting? ???? pic.twitter.com/vkrHVWOs42— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 4, 2019
The record-breaking deal surpassed that of Giancarlo Stanton’s with the Miami Marlins. Signed in 2014, Stanton’s deal spans 13 years and will earn him $325 million in that time.
Manny Machado, the other big signing of the last few weeks, has joined the Padres on another massive deal. His contract has him in San Diego for the next decade on a $300 million deal, which will actually earn him more annually than Harper. Machado will take home $30 million per year versus Harper’s $25 million.