CLEARWATER, Fla. — Despite how commonplace opt-out clauses have become in superstar contracts in recent years, Bryce Harper did not want one, agent Scott Boras told NBC Sports Philadelphia moments after Harper's agreement with the Phillies.
Harper wanted to be in one city the rest of his career and prioritized a long-term deal that would keep him in one place, similar to Tom Brady.
His 13-year, $330M contract contains a full no-trade clause.
Harper also prioritized a hitter-friendly ballpark and Citizens Bank Park certainly fits that description.
Phillies managing partner John Middleton traveled to Las Vegas last weekend to express his long-term vision to Harper. Franchise direction and commitment to winning was important to Harper, according to Boras. Middleton's wife, Leigh, joined Harper and his wife Kayla at dinner and stressed things like community, family and the Phillies' long history of charitable work.
While Los Angeles might have been the storybook destination for Harper because of its proximity to his hometown and his Hollywood persona, Harper never had an aversion to playing in Philadelphia if the money and length of contract was right. And it was.
Harper will earn just over $25 million annually, similar to Cliff Lee's free-agent deal with the Phillies in the winter of 2010. Lee battled injuries in his last few years and didn't even pitch in 2015, the last season of his contract.
Harper is still 26 and has a lot of prime years left. With the length of this contract and the possibility of the designated hitter coming to the National League in future seasons, he'd have a good landing spot if defense becomes a challenge. He wants to play into his 40s.
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