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PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — After months of rumors and speculation, it has finally happened — Bryce Harper has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, CBS3 confirms. ESPN reports Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million deal, with no opt-outs.
A 26-year-old All-Star outfielder, Harper topped the $325 million, 13-year agreement outfielder Giancarlo Stanton reached before the 2015 season with the Miami Marlins. His average annual value of $25.4 million ranks 14th in baseball history.
Harper gets a $20 million signing bonus, a $10 million salary this year, $26 million in each of the following nine seasons and $22 million in each of the last three years. None of the money is deferred.
San Francisco and the Los Angeles Dodgers had also pursued Harper in recent weeks.
Fans have been clamoring for this moment since the season ended as Harper, a six-time All-Star, was one of the big free agent superstars on the market, along with Manny Machado. The Phillies have now added an MVP-caliber, left-handed bat, to what is now a very potent lineup.
The 26-year-old former MVP finished last season with 34 home runs, 100 RBI, a .249 batting average and an .889 OPS.
This is the biggest free agent splash the Phillies have made since signing Cliff Lee after the 2010 season.
The Phillies have had a busy offseason, adding outfielder Andrew McCutchen, a former MVP himself, reliever David Robertson, and trading for shortstop Jean Segura and catcher J.T. Realmuto.
In January, Phillies officials met with Harper and his wife in Las Vegas and owner John Middleton met with Harper again this past weekend.
With this signing, the Phillies have vaulted themselves as a favorite to win the National League East. Last season, the Phillies were in first place in August before collapsing the final month-and-a-half of the season. They finished third with an 80-82 record.
The Phillies’ home opener is Thursday, March 28 against the Atlanta Braves at 3:05 p.m. Harper travels to Washington to face his old team, the Nationals, on April 2-3.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)