One thing Nationals fans will never get used to is seeing Bryce Harper in a Phillies uniform. It's still red, but it's certainly not Nationals red.
The former Nats superstar signed the biggest contract in professional sports history: 13-years, $330 million with the Philadelphia Phillies. No opt-outs.
Soon after Bryce's mega-deal contract was signed, there were reports that $100 million of that $300 million offer from Washington was deferred money, meaning Harper wouldn't see it until he turned 65 years-old. He spoke with ESPN about why he turned it down.
"I grew up in front of those fans and that city, and I enjoyed every minute of it," Harper said to ESPN. "But I didn't know if I fit into their plans. About $100 million of that contract was deferred 'til I was 65 years old." He stops and turns his palms to the sky in disbelief. Few people can turn down a $100 million retirement fund; Bryce is one. "It's like, 'What does that do for me? What does that do for my family?'
The attraction to signing a 13-year long contract is that Harper will be 39-years-old when the contract is up. He'll never have to go through the circus of free-agency and whispers of "Who's Harper meeting with now?" ever again. Again, from ESPN:
"During the seven years I spent in DC, all everybody talked about was me going somewhere else," Harper told The Magazine in his first extensive interview since signing with the Phillies. "From the day I signed, it was: 'He's going to the Yankees'; 'He's going to the Dodgers'; 'He's going to the Cubs.' I didn't want to hear that. I was in that city, and I wanted to be in that city. So now I'm just so happy that I'm able to sit here right now and say I can play until I'm 39 years old and I don't have someone sitting around the corner saying, 'He's going to go here next.'"
The Nationals welcome* Harper and the Phillies to town April 2nd.
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