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Is Bryce Harper worth $330M?

Let’s look at the facts on Bryce Harper, the newest member of the Philadelphia Phillies, who just signed a $330,000,000 contract for 13 years.

  • He is 26 years old and has played seven seasons with the Washington Nationals.
  • His numbers in the 2018 season were .249 batting average, 34 homeruns, and 100 RBIs.
  • His lifetime numbers over 7 seasons are .279 batting average, 184 homeruns (averaging 26 per season), and 521 RBIs (averaging 74 per season).
  • His postseason batting average is .211 with 5 homeruns and 10 RBIs.
  • He was the National League Most Valuable Player in 2015.
  • He has made the All-Star team in six of his seven seasons (popularity vote; not performance based).
  • He was National League Rookie Of The Year in 2012.
  • He has never led the National League or Major League Baseball in any statistical category.

So, from a baseball player value standpoint, why would the Philadelphia Phillies make this kind of investment in an asset that has not consistently proven himself against the best in the world?

Is this purely a business decision? Is the Phillies organization betting on Harper’s appeal to a younger baseball fanbase for ticket sales, merchandise sales, sponsorships, etc.?

It’s quite possible that ownership is making a business decision over a team “winning” decision. If so, that makes sense because Harper’s appeal could very well be valued at triple $330M over 13 years.

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