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Bryce Harper Contract Details: Is the Phillies Star Overrated?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 15: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after hitting a walk-off grand slam against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park on August 15, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Cubs 7-5. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Bryce Harper is tearing the cover off the ball at the moment, which has created more of a discussion surrounding his largely disappointing 2019 MLB campaign.

The Philadelphia Phillies signed the veteran slugger to a 13-year, $330 million contract, which prompted many to say he's overpaid and overrated based on the average annual salary he'll be making until he's 39 years old. After all, for a guy who batted just .249 last season and followed that up by currently leading the league in strikeouts this year, the argument isn't all that out of the question.

So let's take a look at his contract and how it stacks up in terms of value.

Bryce Harper Contract Details

The crazy part is, even if Bryce was making his $26 million salary (which will be the annual number after this year until 2028), he would be tied for the 13th highest-paid player in the league with Giancarlo Stanton!

Who is ahead of him in 2019? It's a wild list, according to Spotrac.

  • Stephen Strasburg: $38.33 million
  • Max Scherzer: $37.5 million
  • Zack Greinke: $34.5 million
  • Clayton Kershaw: $31 million
  • David Price: $31 million
  • Miguel Cabrera: $30 million
  • Yoenis Cespedes: $29 million
  • Justin Verlander: $28.075 million
  • Albert Pujols: $28 million
  • Felix Hernandez: $27.8 million

What's even crazier than that? This:

Harper won't make above Verlander's $27.7 mark at any point during this contract. And as it stands, based on the contracts of Manny Machado, Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado and others, Harper stands to make an annual salary outside of the top-10 (and possibly top-15) for quite some time. So while the 13-year contract could be a bit excessive, getting Harper for around $27 million a year with his career 29.6 WAR in just seven-plus seasons, in addition to his tremendous marketing value, is actually a good deal for Philly.

Bryce Harper 2019 Stats: Is He Overrated?

Harper hasn't performed up to the standards we've set for him since his MVP campaign in 2015, but he's still putting up good power numbers. Let's also not forget he's just 26 years old, so he has many productive years left in the tank.

In 2019, he's been healthy, which is a huge plus considering that's been an issue for about half of his career. He's slashing .253/.374/.490 with 72 runs scored, 25 home runs and 87 RBI. While he doesn't rank atop any leaderboard with these stats, he's still getting on base at an admirable clip as he adjusts to the new scenery.

There's certainly an argument to consider whether or not he's overrated, but if he stays healthy and continues to improve upon this season, the Phillies have themselves a great deal with one of the faces of the MLB.