Will Bryce Harper Be The first $500 million player?

Bryce Harper

Apparently when Bryce Harper reaches free agency after the 2018 season he could find himself with a 500 million dollar contract.

$500 million!? That is a whole lot of money.

This article written by David Schoenfield at ESPN claims that it could be possible…


Over at NBC Sports, Joe Posnanski speculates that when Washington Nationalsoutfielder Bryce Harper becomes a free agent after the 2018 season, he’ll be in line for a $500 million contract:

Harper becomes a free agent after the 2018 season, which will be just after he turns 26 years old. That could not be better for him. Most studies show that the 26-27-28 years are the typical peak for players with a slow decline until 31 or 32 when the decline speeds up considerably.

Remember the Fangraphs number for his value in 2015? Of course, inflation drives up value — but even if you multiply $75.9 million by five, you come up with $380 million. Let’s say he’s half as good for another three years. That’s another $113 million. We’re already almost at $500 million.

Of course, baseball teams don’t go by Fangraphs numbers. They might not believe that Harper was really worth $76 million in 2015. But they know he was worth a whole lot.

Anyway, Harper’s value lies in the fact that he’ll be hitting the free-agent market at such a young age — and presumably will still be one of the best players in the game. Harper could sign a 10-year contract that takes him from his age-26 through age-35 seasons, minimizing the number of post-peak years on the back end, unlike deals given to Albert Pujols andRobinson Cano in recent years that go until Pujols is 41 and Cano 40.

Is $500 million ridiculous? The highest annual average salary right now belongs to Zack Greinke at $34.4 million, and he’s a pitcher in his 30s. The biggest total value contract was the $325 million contract that Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Marlins. No offense to Stanton, but he’s never had a season that came close to what Harper did in 2015, and that contract was signed without him testing free agency and getting other offers.

Still, Harper has to stay healthy, which he didn’t do in 2013 and 2014; he has to repeat this performance, which seems likely given his age, but you never know, maybe it was a career year; and a team has to have the audacity to spend that much on one player.

Source: ESPN