How Bryce Harper impacts Phillies' playoff chances and everything else you need to know about the record deal

After months of speculation and rumors, it finally happened: Bryce Harper has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. Harper and Manny Machado were the crown jewels of the free agent class this offseason. Harper, the 26-year-old former MVP, finished last season with 34 home runs, 100 RBI, a .249 batting average and an .889 OPS. Harper's deal is reportedly for 13 years and $330 million and features no opt-out clauses.

Here are four things to know about Harper's massive new contract:

Harper gets record for biggest contract

Harper's contract with the Phillies tops Giancarlo Stanton's 13-year, $325 million deal in 2014 for the record in terms of total money. With the help of his agent, Scott Boras, Harper lands the biggest contract in MLB history, but he did make a sacrifice on average annual value. Harper will earn just over $25 million per season annually, which is well under the $30 million average Machado will be getting in his deal with the San Diego Padres and the $32.5 million promised in Nolan Arenado's extension with the Rockies.

Harper fully commits to the Phillies

Harper's deal includes full no-trade rights and does not contain any opt-out opportunities. He could always agree to waive the no-trade clause, but for now he is committed to the Phillies through his age-38 season. Machado's Padres deal, meanwhile, includes an opt-out after the fifth year meaning Machado will have the option of re-entering the free-agent market following his age-30 season. 

"The goal was to get the longest contract possible," Harper's agent, Scott Boras told the New York Post. "Bryce wanted one city for the rest of his career. That is what I was instructed to do. It is very difficult in this time to get length of contract that takes a player to age 37, 38, 39."

Harper greatly increases Philly's playoff chances

With the addition of the star free agent, the SportsLine Projection Model broke down what kind of impact Harper will have in Philadelphia. Here are the numbers for the Phillies roster without Bryce vs. the numbers with the superstar in red pinstripes:

Phillies without Harper

  • Projected wins: 80.3
  • Chances of winning NL East: 7.2 percent
  • Chances of making playoffs: 19.3 percent
  • Chances of winning the NL: 1.9 percent
  • Chances of winning the World Series: 0.7 percent

Phillies with Harper

  • Projected wins: 83.4
  • Chances of winning NL East: 13 percent
  • Chances of making playoffs: 31.3 percent
  • Chances of winning the NL: 3.5 percent 
  • Chances of winning the World Series: 1.3 percent

Phillies can be NL contenders next season

Philadelphia had been gearing up for this offseason for several years now and the club was determined to not be outbid for Harper. Landing Harper caps a very successful winter for the Phillies. They traded for catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Jean Segura, and signed outfielder Andrew McCutchen and reliever David Robertson.

Last season, the Phillies lost hold of what could've been a promising season after the emergence of Aaron Nola as an ace. They fell out of playoff contention, going 27-40 in the second half of the season, after leading the National League East by 2.5 games in July. The Phillies last postseason appearance came in 2011, and their last World Series appearance was against the New York Yankees in 2009.

Harper not only adds star power to the club's lineup, but a productive bat as well. Plus, by choosing to stay in the National League, he's going to be facing familiar pitchers. With the top of the lineup projected to include McCutchen, Segura, Harper and Hoskins, the Phillies could have one of the best batting orders in the National League.

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