Another day passed without any concrete news about Bryce Harper’s ultimate free agency destination. But one new report sheds some light on what type of contract Harper is likely to get from his new team.
Appearing on CBS Sports Network Monday night, analyst and former major league general manager Jim Bowden said that he is hearing that whichever team Harper signs with, he will sign for 10 years, and for more money than the 13-year, $325 million contract that Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Miami Marlins in 2014. That deal, as of now, is the largest contract in baseball history.
The former GM appears to agree with most reporting in recent days that the Philadelphia Phillies are in the lead for the star right fielder – although that it is by no means a done deal – and added that Harper will likely sign with a team by the end of the week.
Bowden also said that the Harper free agency process is nearing its end and added, “Bryce Harper wants to win, and that’s something that was on his list at the very beginning. And I think he views the Phillies as a team that’s pretty close,” especially after Philadelphia made a series of moves in the offseason to add veteran talent.
The other teams known to be in on the chase for Harper, including the Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, and San Francisco Giants, are not seen as being as near to contention as Philadelphia, although in a 10-year window that can always change.
Here’s what we know about Bryce Harper: The Phillies need him, and they are willing to spend | David Murphy https://t.co/V19EIw1gbw
— Philly.com Sports (@phillysport) February 19, 2019
“I know Harper can see himself between [first baseman] Rhys Hoskins and [catcher] J.T. Realmuto in the middle of the lineup,” Bowden said. He added that “anything can happen, at the end of doing deals,” especially with aggressive agent Scott Boras representing Harper.
Bowden was a general manager for the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals, although he left the Nationals before they drafted Harper first overall in the 2010 draft. Bowden has since moved on to a media career.
"The process is coming near an end."
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) February 18, 2019
Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton signed the $325 million contract with Miami in 2014, becoming baseball’s highest paid player ever in terms of the length of a single contract. However, as has nearly always been the case when the Marlins have had expensive players, the team got rid of the contract three years later, trading Stanton to the New York Yankees in December of 2017.
Since the Yankees appear to have not entered the Harper bidding, it’s extremely unlikely that Stanton and Harper will end up as teammates this season.