Bryce Harper finally landed with a new MLB team, the Philadelphia Philles, for 13 years and $330 million. Some fans will support the move for a Phillies team looking to contend again. However, this massive signing will benefit the New York Mets in 2019 as well as going forward.
There is a reason Harper was on the market for as long as he was. His asking price was known to be astronomical as shortstop Manny Machado and third baseman Nolan Arenado both received their payday so Harper wanted his own. This move will benefit the Mets because now the Phillies are strapped financially with so much money going into one asset where they have multiple weaknesses, including pitching besides Aaron Nola and also the bullpen.
New York addressed many of their needs without breaking the bank on one player. They added catcher Wilson Ramos and relief pitchers Justin Wilson and Jeurys Familia on free agent deals as well as trading for second baseman Robinson Cano and closer Edwin Diaz. These were very cost-efficient moves for New York as they have financial flexibility unlike Philadelphia who is going to pay $25 million each to Harper and starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, which is a hefty sum to pay just two players.
The National League East division is the Mets’ division to lose in 2019 with their pitching staff and new additions and Bryce Harper signing with the Phillies, who is signed until he is about 40 years old, will help New York for 2019 and beyond. History shows that contracts involving 10 or more years always backfire especially that Harper has no opt outs in his deal as well as a no-trade clause. There is a small chance that a contract covering such a long period of time can work out almost perfectly. Harper does hit for power, but he lacks defensive effectiveness. After three of four years, once he enters his 30s, this contract will be a burden on Philadelphia as they will be overpaying for a power hitter that is lacking defensively and injuries have arisen in Harper’s past.
Yes, Harper will put fans in the seats and seemingly Philadelphia made the “splash” in the offseason. But winning the offseason does not matter. The Mets made the right move by not pursing Harper and making other cost-effective moves as they will also benefit from Philadelphia signing Harper to a super-contract. The Mets are making the right moves instead of the “sexy” moves for 2019 and going forward.