At long last, the Bryce Harper free agency saga came to an end earlier this week. . It is the largest contract in baseball history.
As you might expect, the largest contract in history comes loaded with bells and whistles. First, here is the annual salary breakdown, via the Associated Press:
- 2019: $10 million salary plus $20 million signing bonus paid in two installments (June 1 and Nov. 1)
- 2020-28: $26 million salary annually
- 2029-31: $22 million salary annually
Harper's contract does not include any opt-out clauses, option years, or deferred money. It is a straight 13-year deal worth $330 million. Harper does get full no-trade protection, however.
In addition to the salary and no-trade clause, Harper's contract also includes a bonus package and some perks. The details:
According to contract details obtained by The Associated Press, Harper would earn an extra $50,000 each time he is an All-Star, wins a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger or is selected League Championship Series MVP. A World Series MVP trophy would be worth an additional $100,000.
He would get $500,000 if he is league MVP, $50,000 for finishing second in the voting and $25,000 for third.
Bonus packages like this are quite common in free agent contracts, especially for high-profile players like Harper. Based on all that above, this is the best case bonus scenario for Harper each season:
- All-Star: $50,000
- Gold Glove: $50,000
- Silver Slugger: $50,000
- MVP: $500,000
- NLCS MVP: $50,000
- World Series MVP: $100,000
That is $800,000 in available bonuses each season or $10.4 million in available bonuses across the 13-year-old contract.
Also, Harper gets a suite in the road -- that is not a small thing given how much time baseball players spend on the road -- and the right to purchase a suite a Citizens Bank Park. It's good work if you can get it.