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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Bryce Harper’s strange signing for 2018 won’t mean much in the long run | FOX Sports

This is a bit odd.

The oddest of tea leaves fell on Saturday — news that Bryce Harper and the Nationals had agreed upon a $21.625 million contract for 2018, avoiding his final year of arbitration.

I cannot recall another deal like this being struck in mid-May, and the curious timing raised the usual questions about Harper’s future with the Nats, and whether he will sign an extension before reaching free agency.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 14, 2017 at 06:06 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bryce harper, nationals

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   1. JohnQ Posted: May 15, 2017 at 09:49 AM (#5455418)
What are the predictions for Harper's pending free agent contract?
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2017 at 09:56 AM (#5455421)
Jeers to the websites whose headlines called it an "extension," even if there is some literal truth to that word.
   3. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 15, 2017 at 10:19 AM (#5455444)
What are the predictions for Harper's pending free agent contract?


If he keeps up like this, I could see him getting 10/$400 from someone. If he can show that 2015 wasn't a fluke, and that he can produce 9-10 WAR seasons, and hitting the market in time for his age 26 season...that's quite a few years of prime Bryce Harper you can get.
   4. JL72 Posted: May 15, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5455447)
If he keeps up like this, I could see him getting 10/$400 from someone. If he can show that 2015 wasn't a fluke, and that he can produce 9-10 WAR seasons, and hitting the market in time for his age 26 season...that's quite a few years of prime Bryce Harper you can get.


A little more than 1/5 of the way into the season, Harper already has 2.4 WAR. A 9-10 WAR season seems pretty doable, but he needs to stay healthy. He does that and folks will start thinking that last year was the fluke (as opposed to 2015).
   5. jmurph Posted: May 15, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5455449)
If he keeps up like this, I could see him getting 10/$400 from someone.

I used to think this kind of talk was nonsense, but I think we're ready for some absolutely crazy salary inflation. Different sport, (very) different salary rules, but consider that with the NBA's new salary structure, Steph Curry's next 5 year contract with Golden State will likely pay him somewhere around ~45-47 million in the final season of the deal.
   6. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 15, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5455465)
Different sport, (very) different salary rules, but consider that with the NBA's new salary structure, Steph Curry's next 5 year contract with Golden State will likely pay him somewhere around ~45-47 million in the final season of the deal.


But isn't the issue there that Steph Curry impact the Warriors in a way that Mike Trout can never impact the Angels? In the NBA, a HOF-level superstar is pretty much the only path to an NBA title (I mean, that one Pistons team non-withstanding). Mike Trout's been the best player in baseball for going on six years now, and the Angels have yet to win a single playoff game with him. You just can't instantly transform a team by your presence (or torpedo one, by your absence). I mean, wasn't that the joke about the Mariners and Rangers? The Mariners shed a HOFer three years running and wind up winning 116 games, while the Rangers add A-Rod and never go anywhere?
   7. BrianBrianson Posted: May 15, 2017 at 11:04 AM (#5455480)
FanGraphs had a fun article about the difference between a Basketball Player's impact on a team, and a Baseball Player's.

The punchline is yeah - the best Basketball players are way more important than the best Baseball players to their team.
   8. The Good Face Posted: May 15, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5455490)
If he keeps up like this, I could see him getting 10/$400 from someone.


If (big if obviously) he's a 9+ WAR player this year and in 2018, $500M is possible. Players that young and that good only reach FA once every couple of decades or so.
   9. jmurph Posted: May 15, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5455497)
Oh 100% understood and agreed on the difference in importance between a star player in the NBA and MLB. But that was also true when ARod was making more than (I think) anyone in the NBA at the time. I was just suggesting we might be in for a big inflation in star salaries in baseball again.
   10. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: May 15, 2017 at 11:31 AM (#5455510)
No way he doesn't hit the market. He will be courted by many teams. Whoever he signs with, the contract will big and probably a ton deferred.
   11. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: May 15, 2017 at 11:43 AM (#5455518)
No way he doesn't hit the market. He will be courted by many teams. Whoever he signs with, the contract will big and probably a ton deferred.


It will likely have an opt out after 5 years or so and be pretty backloaded. Something like 10y/$450M, but the AAV of years 1-5 is $40M and years 6-10 is $50M.
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 15, 2017 at 12:51 PM (#5455592)
One way Harper's career has been interesting is that pre-2017 he had played five full seasons and because of the one huge year his career averages on offense were all higher than his performance in four of the five seasons.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5455628)
One way Harper's career has been interesting is that pre-2017 he had played five full seasons and because of the one huge year his career averages on offense were all higher than his performance in four of the five seasons.
Ryan Howard's slugging percentage had the same thing going on after 2009.
   14. AROM Posted: May 15, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5455634)
John Olerud 1990-94 fits that pattern.
   15. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5455640)
No way he doesn't hit the market. He will be courted by many teams.

It's pretty likely Harper hits the free agent market, although tidying up the 2018 contract does give the Nationals a year and a half to consider making an attempt at a preemptive bid. However, I don't think more than a handful of teams would pursue Harper in free agency - just too expensive for many, and most teams are too risk adverse to make a huge investment in one player, despite the potential effect on winning and fan interest. Probably only the Nationals, Dodgers, and Yankees are sure bidders, although a couple more teams might at least explore the possibilities.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: May 15, 2017 at 01:43 PM (#5455648)
The largest contracts in MLB history have been signed by:

1. The Marlins
2. The Yankees
3. The Rangers
4. The Tigers
5. The Mariners/Angels (tied)

I don't think the names of the competitive bidders are a foregone conclusion.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2017 at 01:50 PM (#5455657)
The largest contracts in MLB history have been signed by:

1. The Marlins
2. The Yankees
3. The Rangers
4. The Tigers
5. The Mariners/Angels (tied)

I don't think the names of the competitive bidders are a foregone conclusion.

Possibly, but the teams that are paying on one of those super-large contracts may not be in a very good position to add Harper's mega-contract.
   18. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: May 15, 2017 at 01:51 PM (#5455659)
Harper has more runs scored than games played so far this year. I wonder how many players have accomplished that over a full season (someone with P.I. want to check)? I seem to recall from some baseball trivia book that I had as a kid that only Sliding Billy Hamilton pulled it off over a full career.
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2017 at 01:58 PM (#5455664)
Harper has more runs scored than games played so far this year. I wonder how many players have accomplished that over a full season (someone with P.I. want to check)?
That might be something that hasn't been done since the 1930's.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: May 15, 2017 at 02:06 PM (#5455673)
Rickey in 1985 with 146 in 143 games. Thames is also doing it this year. Prior to Rickey you had to go back to Foxx in 39 and DiMaggio in 37. Ruth did it 6 times, only guy in the 20th c to do it more than twice (Gehrig). Ruth also holds the 20th c record for gap at 177 R in 152 g in 1921.
   21. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 15, 2017 at 02:08 PM (#5455675)
That might be something that hasn't been done since the 1930's.


Post-1936 it looks like Bagwell comes the closest in 2000 with 152 runs.

I haven't looked at shortened seasons or anything (either injury-shortened or strike-shortened, etc.), or checked PI.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2017 at 02:10 PM (#5455678)
You know, I briefly checked a few suspects: Rockies players, Bagwell + Biggio, Morgan, Williams, and Musial. But of course, I neglected to double-check the all-time leader in runs scored.
   23. BDC Posted: May 15, 2017 at 02:21 PM (#5455689)
only Sliding Billy Hamilton pulled it off over a full career

Hamilton did, but also a raft of other 19th-century guys like Harry Stovey, George Gore, George Wright, Ross Barnes, etc.

The only two to do it in a complete "career" since 1903 are Brian Milner, who scored three runs in two games for the 1978 Blue Jays … and, of course, John Paciorek.
   24. Tim M Posted: May 15, 2017 at 03:18 PM (#5455744)
Sliding Billy Hamilton


Anyone who hasn't looked at this guy's page recently, please do so. Wow-eee. .344 lifetime BA, 4 times over 100 steals, 5 times led the league in walks, season high of 198 runs! (plus the R>G singularity noted above). A mere 40 career homers yet still an OPS+ of 141. All that, and it still took him 60 years to get into the Hall.

Slide on my good man.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5455745)
For obvious reasons, a season of averaging an RBI per game is more common. Although I don't think any active players have done it.
   26. AROM Posted: May 15, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5455763)
All that, and it still took him 60 years to get into the Hall.


Well, first they had to build a hall. For more than half of those 60 years the HOF did not exist.

For obvious reasons, a season of averaging an RBI per game is more common. Although I don't think any active players have done it.


Ramirez did it, 165 in 147 games. He's sort of active, last I heard he signed with the Kochi Fighting Dogs.

I don't know if he's actually played, or where to find stats for them, especially in English. Are they Dogs of Kochi who fight? Or are they people from Kochi who are fighting dogs?
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2017 at 03:44 PM (#5455780)
He also did it in the next year; 122 in 118 games. And he had exactly an RBI per game over a 4-year stretch.
   28. Batman Posted: May 15, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5455790)
The most games any active player has played and averaged an RBI per game was Hunter Renfroe- 14 RBI in 11 G last year. Ryan Zimmerman and Cody Bellinger, along with Harper, are averaging more than 1 RBI so far this year in more games than Renfroe played.
   29. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: May 15, 2017 at 03:58 PM (#5455795)
I don't know if he's actually played, or where to find stats for them, especially in English. Are they Dogs of Kochi who fight? Or are they people from Kochi who are fighting dogs?

I'm guessing it's like the Fighters. "Kochi Fighting" is the name of the company sponsoring the team. They are either a security firm or martial arts gym.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: May 15, 2017 at 03:59 PM (#5455800)
The logo is indeed a dog that is fixin to fight.
   31. Batman Posted: May 15, 2017 at 04:00 PM (#5455801)
This site says Manny is hitting .434 in 13 games and it has video of his two HR.
   32. RMc's Aggravating as Hell, Arrogant, Disrespectful Posted: May 16, 2017 at 08:04 AM (#5456203)
Yanks sign Trout and Harper: 12 years and a cool billion.
   33. Bote Man Posted: May 16, 2017 at 08:29 AM (#5456208)
I'm guessing it's like the Fighters. "Kochi Fighting" is the name of the company sponsoring the team. They are either a security firm or martial arts gym.

I still find it to be more fun to think of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters as guys who fight the onslaught of a bunch of hams. Maybe they slice the hams into curious shapes that still fit between 2 slices of sandwich bread?

Anyway, the comments surrounding Harper's 2018 deal suggest that it put the Nationals in a better position to go after Harper for a long-term deal. Although if history is any guide the Nats will make an offer that he most certainly can refuse, then the Nats will say "Sorry folks, we tried."
   34. RMc's Aggravating as Hell, Arrogant, Disrespectful Posted: May 16, 2017 at 08:57 AM (#5456222)
Fighting dogs or fighting ham, it's all the same.
   35. Batman Posted: May 16, 2017 at 10:21 AM (#5456284)
When they fight, my dog always defeats ham.
   36. OsunaSakata Posted: May 16, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5456287)
Sliding Billy Hamilton


Anyone who hasn't looked at this guy's page recently, please do so. Wow-eee. .344 lifetime BA, 4 times over 100 steals, 5 times led the league in walks, season high of 198 runs! (plus the R>G singularity noted above). A mere 40 career homers yet still an OPS+ of 141. All that, and it still took him 60 years to get into the Hall.

Slide on my good man.


While he was certainly a great player, I think those stolen base totals are inflated by the old definition. Before 1898, advancing from first to third on a single was considered a stolen base.
   37. bigglou115 Posted: May 16, 2017 at 11:08 AM (#5456351)
There are some interesting things here. One, if Harriet was on a smaller market (read payroll) team, I think these past few years have been interesting. They know they have to trade him because even his arbitration years might get too expensive, but when? After 2015 with 3 years left? After 2016 when he was at his nadir? Now? Probably now. But if they don't move him do they have to consider a non-tender? Or sign and trade with no ability to keep him? I'm sure it's a headache they'd accept, but still.

Also, how do you structure 10/$400-500 M? If you heavily back load the deal you could be holding an under achieving player for $70+ M. Are we that sure that salary inflation keeps going strong? Because even the big spenders now would have issues if he was even just very good making that much. People say he would opt out but we said that about Stanton and now who thinks that's a slam dunk? And Harper has shown some volatility that Stanton hadn't.

I think he gets a mega deal, but I think 10/$400 has to be the outside just on a risk perspective for teams. If he fails at that salary then your probably won't be good until you unload the deal.

Edit: fail is relative. If he's a perennial 6 WAR player he's knocking on MVP doors and maybe winning a few, but he'd also be making well over $10M/WAR in the back half. That's a big bet on inflation considering the current economics.
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: May 16, 2017 at 11:51 AM (#5456397)
While he was certainly a great player, I think those stolen base totals are inflated by the old definition. Before 1898, advancing from first to third on a single was considered a stolen base.


And then the sport went too far the other way. Todd Frazier scored the other day on a play that was not a sac fly, and the batter wasn't credited with an RBI. There were no errors. The defense made no choice to make a play elsewhere that allowed him to score, and wasn't indifferent to his advancement. Stolen base is the best description of what he did.
   39. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 16, 2017 at 12:14 PM (#5456428)
I still find it to be more fun to think of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters as guys who fight the onslaught of a bunch of hams. Maybe they slice the hams into curious shapes that still fit between 2 slices of sandwich bread?

No, no, no. The Ham Fighters are courageous warriors defending the honor and righteousness of ham. It is believed they are descendants of the samurai, and they are to be afforded the respect that their noble cause deserves.

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