Phillies ICYMI Monday
             Graphic Credit: Diana Sue Montgomery

Phillies ICYMI Monday Graphic Credit: Diana Sue Montgomery

Phillies ICYMI Monday: 03/04/19

Yet another week with no new … Oh Wait

We Got Him!

Yes Phans, after weeks of #MacHarper angst, Your Philadelphia Phillies phinally reeled in the Big Phish

Bryce Harper

to the tune of $330M for 13 years with no buyout clause. How 😎 is it to see that picture above on the Phillies roster page?

Let’s start by hearing from the $M Man himself.

When it became official and he was introduced at Spectrum Park in Clearwater Fl, he said almost all the right things:

“You’re always remembered for winning, and what better place to do it than Philly?” Harper said. “This place is somewhere where fans and blue-collar people thrive on winning and thrive on being a family.”

“For me, it’s all about winning. That’s what you’re remembered for. That’s what it’s all about.”

“From Day 1, when I got drafted, it was all about, ‘He’s going to the Yankees. He’s going to the Dodgers. He’s going here. He’s going there. That’s all everybody talked about. That’s all anybody wanted to talk about — they wanted to talk about this moment. Nobody in the next 13 years is going to talk about, ‘Oh, he’s going to the Yankees, he’s going here, he’s going there.’ It’s about being somewhere for a long period of time, making my family, digging my roots, for the good, for the bad.”

“I’m not going to tell you I’m going to win an MVP every single year,” he added. “Is that my goal? Absolutely, I want to do that every single year. But there’s going to be down years, there’s going to be big years, there’s going to be years that are just OK. For a team, for an organization, that’s what we’re going to do — we’re going to go in, we’re going to try to do everything we can to win and play hard and play well. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what I want to do.”

“We want to bring a title back to [Philly] *.  I want to be on Broad Street on a frickin’ boat or whatever — a thing, a bus, whatever it is — and have a trophy over my head and do that. Because that’s what it’s all about. That’s what I feel like I want my legacy to be — all about winning, all about playing the game the right way, for a great organization and for a long period of time.”

* He actually said “DC”, but we all know what he meant. “I was like, ‘Oh, man,’” Harper said. “I didn’t even notice it.” 

“When you grow up from 17 to 25 in an organization and you’re trying to do everything you can to win for that organization and bring a title somewhere you’re going to have those slip-ups. That’s part of it. But I’m a Phillie and I’m very excited about it.”

Bryce Harper: Lets Go To The Bank

Besides the star power he brings to the club, they sold over 100K tickets hours after this was announced, purportedly the biggest one day sale ever, lets quickly examine what he can do playing half his games at Citizens Bank Park

In 50 games here his slash line is .268/.365/.564 with 14 home runs. That SLG of .564 is the ballpark’s all-time leader of batters with a minimum of 200 PAs. Below is the list of the top five in SLG at the Bank.

  1. Bryce Harper: .564
  2. Rhys Hoskins.562
  3. Chipper Jones: .547
  4. Hanley Ramirez: .545
  5. Jayson Werth: .535

Those 14 dingers is the most at any park outside of DC. Also tops outside of Nationals Park are his 32 RBIs and .930 OPS.

Bryce Harper: Beast Against The East

Harper also will help in the games against the NL East, something the Phils have had trouble with the last few seasons. Looking at his lifetime OBP and HR numbers against the other teams:

Braves: .390 and 25

Marlins: .399 and 24

Mets: .377 and 23

Bryce Harper: Phillies Phuture

While we can finally put to bed the “stupid money” line, the way this “smart” contract was structured to help the team out in the future, by spreading the money out so as not to be such a big hit on the luxury tax, as well as leaving room to make more sizable deals. Here is how it is broken down:

2019: $10M (plus $20M signing bonus)

2020: $26M

2021: $26M

2022: $26M

2023: $26M

2024: $26M

2025: $26M

2026: $26M

2027: $26M

2028: $26M

2029: $22M

2030: $22M

2031: $22M

This not only shows the team’s commitment to Bryce, but also Harper’s commitment to staying with one team. He is already on record as wanting to help the Phillies recruit players in the near future. Yes that means arguably the best player in MLB right now Mike Trout, who is one of the players Harper talked with in making this decision.

Next Ups:

For those wondering how the Phillies will get Harper ready to play in a ST game there are these tweets from the Athletic‘s Matt Breen

and Meghan Montemurro

Lost in all the HarperMania is the fact that in less than a month, the team will take north 24 other guys who are pretty good baseball players, including the possibly best C in MLB, All stars at SS, OF, P etc. Hopefully they will not be forgotten as baseball is still a Team sport, and we need them all to contribute.

The tough decisions now await the FO as they can now concentrate on the spring training games, especially in the OF now that they have added every day players in Harper and Andrew McCutchenOdubel Herrera‘ s place in CF is pretty much solidified but exactly how the other OF’s Aaron AltherrDylan CozensRoman Quinn (who is currently injured again), and Nick Williams will fit in has to be determined.

On Herrera, he has yet to play in a ST game because of a nagging left hamstring strain. No word yet on when he may play, but it is still early.

Another intriguing battle in camp to watch will be the back-up C between Andrew Knapp who is already on the Active Roster, and non roster invitee Drew Butera who in six spring AB’s has 2H, 5RBI, 3R, 2HR, .333/.556 OBP/1.889 OPS.

We will have more on these battles as well as getting back to looking at more NRIs in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile as Mr #IWBIWISI on twitter, I will leave you with this hint: