Dibble On Harper: "I Bet He Was Offered A Lot More"

Bryce Harper's deal was "great for the sport," Rob Dibble says, but he likely could have signed elsewhere for more

Reiter Than You
March 07, 2019 - 7:05 am

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As the dust settles on Bryce Harper’s 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, reaction continues to come fast and furious. While many analysts have focused on the years and the dollars, Rob Dibble has focused on something else.

“I love that he has the no opt-out – because that’s a big Scott Boras thing,” Dibble said on Reiter Than You. “I’m sure that Scott Boras was pressing him for three or five years to opt out. He’s done it with all of his major contracts over the years. So that gives the Phillies (some comfort). Now people can know this guy is going to play with them – if the Phillies elect to have him there – until he’s 39 years old. 

“Is it a great contract for Major League Baseball? He’s got job security, and that’s what he really wanted,” Dibble continued. “The average salary per year – $25 million a year – it’s not a huge deal. It’s not the biggest one in baseball right now, and I bet he was offered a lot more.”

The Dodgers and Yankees, Dibble said, likely could have signed Harper to, say, a five-year, $250 million deal. They would be paying top dollar for Harper’s prime, sure, but it would have been a shorter-term contract.

“These teams have the money,” Dibble said. “That’s not the issue. The issue is how do I sell it to the fan base? Philly is a great place to play. Harper is going to be able to go at the Nationals hard for a long time, go at the Mets, go at the Braves, go at the Marlins – and you’re going to see one of the top stars on the East Coast.”

And he wants other stars to join him. Harper has wasted no time recruiting other players, saying he plans to call Mike Trout about joining the Phillies in 2020.

“What he said about Trout, I agree with,” Dibble said. “When the commissioner says things publicly – and this hurts the game – that Mike Trout should market himself, that just tells me this guy has no clue (about) why the people pay top dollar to watch these stars play. Rob Manfred, he’s a genius when it comes to labor law; he has no idea why people fill ball parks, why they watch this stuff on TV, why they listen to these games on radio. It’s about the stars. It’s a long contract, it’s a lot of money. But at the end of the day, I think it’s great for the sport that this guy picked more of a smaller market than L.A., Chicago or New York.”