While Los Angeles might have been the storybook destination for Harper because of its proximity to his hometown and his Hollywood persona, Harper never had an aversion to playing in Philadelphia if the money and length of contract was right.
Even former players are excited about the deal.
Either pitcher would be an obvious fit for the Phillies, though after adding Harper, Andrew McCutchen, David Robertson, J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura already this winter, it doesn't seem as though GM Matt Klentak, president Andy MacPhail and owner John Middleton are prepared to pay top-of-the-market prices. Manny Machado signed with the San Diego Padres on February 20 and the Phillies got their guy a week later. Still, the Phillies are presently relying on a trio of unproven starters - Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez - behind ace Aaron Nola and veteran Jake Arrieta.
So what did the two teams that missed out have to offer?
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What role did California taxes play in Harper's decision?
Boras said shorter-term offers had average annual values as high as $42.5 million.
Harper has been an All-Star in six of seven big league seasons and was the unanimous victor of the 2015 NL MVP award. He became the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year for a Nationals club that won its first division title and made its postseason debut. He supplemented that with 34 home runs and a league-high 130 walks, twice as many as the season prior.
Harper hit.247 with 34 homers, 100 RBIs, and had an on-base percentage of.393 last season.