From the roof of a dugout inside the Philadelphia Phillies’ sun-soaked spring training home Saturday, Bryce Harper was formally introduced by his new club.
Focused, he said, on establishing a long, winning career in a place where he also felt a strong familial connection, Harper and agent Scott Boras adamantly reiterated their belief that with a 13-year, $330 million, opt-out-free deal, Philadelphia will be that place.
“At the beginning of the process, I told this guy I didn’t want [an opt-out] anywhere I went,” Harper said, motioning toward Boras. “I wanted to be able to dig my roots somewhere, that was through the good, through the bad, through the ups and downs of the organization. It’s going to be tough for 13 years to win every single year, and I totally understand that.
“[But] I want to be a part of this organization. I don’t want to go anywhere else. I want to be a part of this family, this Phillie Nation.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china
At what cost, though? While Phillies general manager Matt Klentak tried to say free-agent deals are about more than dollars and years, Harper made it clear that he felt entitled to the $330 million he’ll make.
“I think baseball is worth about 11.5 billion dollars,” Harper said. “So I think some of it should go back to the players, as well. I’m making $26 [million] a year or something like that, so I think that’s going to be able to bring some other guys in, as well as be able to help this organization win.
“I know there’s another guy in about two years that comes up off the books, we’ll see what happens then.”
That other guy would be Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who many believe could earn a contract that dwarfs Harper’s in total value.
As for Harper’s introduction Saturday, it came with fanfare befitting a man who had just signed the largest free-agent contract in baseball history.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
Looming just beyond the outfield and over Harper’s left shoulder was his mean-mugging face, edited into an image on display on the Spectrum Field video board. On the protective over-dugout netting just behind Harper and others sitting at a red-clothed table on the dugout — Boras, Phillies owner John Middleton and Klentak — were posters of magazines depicting Harper from cover shoots he had with ESPN the Magazine and Sports Illustrated.