Manny Machado opt-out news a reminder of the value of Bryce Harper’s Phillies contract

Machado news another reminder of how helpful Harper's contract is for Phils originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Nearly four years ago to the day, the Padres reached a 10-year, $300 million contract with Manny Machado.

Machado and Bryce Harper were the prizes of free agency that offseason and the Phillies were connected heavily to both, at one point appearing to prefer the third baseman.

Machado ended up in San Diego and less than two weeks later, the Phillies signed Harper to a 13-year contract worth $330 million.

Harper's deal includes no opt-outs. He didn't want one. He wasn't interested in dealing with the constant rumors that swirled while he was in D.C. about his next team. He wanted to plant his feet and know where he'd be for the next decade-plus.

Machado's contract did include an opt-out after Year 5. The 2023 season will be his fifth with the Padres. He was asked about the situation Friday and said that he indeed plans to opt out.

“There’s a lot of money out there. As a player about to opt out, it’s pretty good to see," he told reporters, including the Washington Post.

Machado obviously wouldn't be opting out unless he felt strongly he'd be able to top the remaining dollars/years of his current contract. Without opting out, he'd earn $150 million over the final five years of the deal.

This is yet another example of how valuable Harper's contract is for the Phillies. They don't have to worry about renegotiating with him. They don't have to worry about losing him to a spend-happy team.

Harper will earn $26 million annually for the next six years and $22 million per year the final three seasons. His $330 million contract was the largest in MLB history when he signed it, but five players have since passed him: Mike Trout ($426.5M), Mookie Betts ($365M), Aaron Judge ($360M), Francisco Lindor ($341M) and Fernando Tatis Jr. ($340M).

In terms of annual average value, which is what luxury tax calculations are based around, Harper's $25.384 million is 40th all-time and 27th among active players.

You don't have to look far to find the benefits of Harper's price tag. It's helped the Phillies sign numerous large contracts since: Trea Turner, J.T. Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, Taijuan Walker. Aaron Nola is next up for a big payday. Would they all be here if Harper was making closer to, say, $35 million a year like former teammate Anthony Rendon?

In four seasons with the Phillies, Harper has hit .282/.394/.546 with 101 home runs. His OPS as a Phillie is 40 points higher than it was as a National. It's also 85 points higher than Machado's as a Padre, though Machado has made much more of an impact defensively.

Harper continued to deliver during the Phillies' playoff run with dramatic home runs and production in every round. He hit .349 with six homers, seven doubles and 13 RBI in 17 postseason games.

Harper will miss the majority of the first half this season recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Phillies went 36-27 last year without him.