MLB Rumors: Braves next move, Red Sox big deal looming, Bryce Harper extension

  • Bryce Harper wants to extend his contract with Phillies
  • Red Sox still in the market for top-end pitchers
  • Braves trade Max Stassi to the White Sox

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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MLB Rumors: Bryce Harper wants to sign extension, finish his career with Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies' magical run hit a brick wall against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS. Still, it's hard not to feel romantic about Bryce Harper's postseason heroism in recent years. He slashed .286/.455/.643 with five home runs, eight RBIs, 14 runs, and 13 walks in 55 plate appearances during the 2023 playoffs.

There hasn't been a more consistent superstar on baseball's biggest stage over the last couple of seasons. Harper dealt with injuries in the regular season and he's prone to the occasional strike out spell like anyone else, but he shows up when the Phillies need him to. He's definitionally clutch, and it's hard to imagine him wearing any other jersey at this point.

Harper famously did not negotiate any opt-outs when he signed a 13-year, $330 million contract that now feels like a bargain. His current contract runs through his age-38 season, but according to Harper's agent Scott Boras, the seven-time All-Star desires an extension.

"Bryce has let me know that he wants to work out an extension so that he knows that he’s going to be there for the remainder of his career," Boras told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Harper wants to play into his 40s and finish his career in Philadelphia. He avoided opt-outs to prove his loyalty to the Phillies and to inspire stars to join him. Since Harper's arrival, Nick Castellanos, Trea Turner, and J.T. Realmuto all signed long-term deals. It's hard to argue with the results.

That said, the Phillies are under no obligation to extend Harper. It will be interesting to see how Dave Dombrowski and the front office handle Harper's new request. While Harper's deal feels like a bargain now, it won't necessarily feel that way in his 40s. The Phillies have to think long-term, but by that same token, there's not much incentive to rock the boat with Harper. Keeping your superstar happy is generally the smart approach.