Report: Phillies sign Bryce Harper

Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The wait that’s gone on for most of the offseason is over. Free agent Bryce Harper has reportedly signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jeff Passan of ESPN reported the details of the deal.

In more ways than one, this is a massive signing for the Phillies. First of all, it makes them better.

By just about any metric, the Philadelphia right fielders were among the least productive in baseball 2018. They hit only .225/.318/.374 with 20 home runs. By contrast, Harper is a .279/.388/.512 hitter for his career. He’s hit 184 home runs in 3,306 at-bats. In 2018, he hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs. After the All-Star break, he hit .300/.434/.538 with 11 home runs.

This is also productive for the Phillies in that it hurts the Washington Nationals — a division rival and Harper’s now former team.

Due to his career production and the fact that he’s still only 26, Harper is one of the most highly-touted free agents of all-time. He’s a six-time All-Star (2012, 2013, 2015-2018), the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year, and the 2015 NL MVP.

Because of his career in the National League East, Harper also has extensive experience at his new home, Citizens Bank Park. In Philadelphia, he has a career .268/.365/.564 slash line. Harper also has 14 home runs at Citizens Bank Park, which is second only to his now former home of Nationals Park.