The deal lasts over a decade, so you'd think Harper would want to keep his options open by including at least one or two opportunities for escape if things don't go as planned in the City of Brotherly Love, but it was reportedly HIS idea for there to be no opt-out clauses.
Source: “No opt outs. Harper didn’t want one.”— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 28, 2019
There's bold, and then there's this.
It's commendable that Harper was willing to commit to the team for 13 years, but it makes virtually no sense that not a single opt out was included. He married himself to the Phillies when he didn't even need to.
To give you some perspective on how long this deal is, it's literally the same length as half of Harper's entire life up to this point.
13 years ago, Bryce Harper was . . . 13 years old.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 28, 2019
He has no escape routes. If the Phillies spin their tires for the next 13 years, he's stuck. If he has MVP-caliber seasons and wants to see if he could sign an even better contract than the one he has, he can't.
It's a massive gamble. The Phillies could turn into a dynastic team sometime during the duration of the deal and he'd be right in the thick of it. But he also runs the risk of being stuck on a sputtering team for what seems like an eternity. Time will tell if this was the right choice.