Monday, December 7, 2015

Bryce Harper and the First $400 Million Contract

So if David Price is supposedly worth $31 million a year for 31 starts, for simplicity sake, and $217 million over seven seasons at age 30 then when Bryce Harper hits free agency after the 2017 season he’ll be worth what? A billion over 15 seasons? $500 million over 13 seasons? More realistically though, would Harper be the first $400 million man in Major League Baseball? In a word, yes.

I say yes, a lot can happen in two seasons of baseball, but what I really mean is that he could be. Price is making basically a million bucks a start, $31 million annually for roughly 31 starts not including the postseason, at 30-years old so how valuable does that make Bryce Harper? Let’s just throw out a number and say that Harper plays in 155 games per season and plays for all nine innings, does that not make him five times more valuable than a starting pitcher that starts every fifth day? Price is 30, Harper will be just 26-years old when he hits free agency.

According to traditional stats and metrics Jason Heyward isn’t all that great, it’s the sabermetrics and his defensive WAR that make him valuable, and he’s still projected to get a 10-year deal worth $20 million plus annually. Harper is already an MVP, a middle-of-the-order hitter and a leader in the outfield. If Harper doesn’t get at least $400 million the system is severely broken.

In 2015 Harper, according to Fangraphs “value” calculation, was worth $76 million according to his production, that makes $40 million almost look like a bargain at this point, no?

The stars are aligning. The Yankees have a ton of money coming off the books the same offseason as Bryce Harper is a free agent and are losing an absolute ton of money the two offseason prior as well. New York loves their big names and recognizable stars about as much as they have shown to love young players in recent years, this is the best of both worlds for the Yankees. Am I okay with the Yankees giving Bryce 10-12 years and $400 million? If you ask me today, yes. Although a lot can change in two seasons of Major League Baseball…. So stay tuned. 

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