Bryce Harper is now a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, as the 26-year-old superstar made his free agent decision official today.
Harper sets a record for the largest contract in the history of professional sports with his new $330 million deal.
Now that we know Harper’s decision, it is clear that his main motivation was topping Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year $325 million contract to set the new record.
Adding Harper caps off a busy offseason for Philadelphia, that has seen them add five former All-Stars to their roster.
Philadelphia could still use some help with their pitching staff, but they have now completely revamped their starting lineup.
Even with Harper in tow, the Phillies are no lock for the postseason, as the National League East has become the most competitive division in baseball.
In fact, based on weighted runs created last season, the Phillies lineup is not even the best in the division.
Based on those stats, the Mets actually feature the best lineup in the NL East, with the Phillies and Nationals just behind them.
Whether the Phillies make it to the post season or not, they now have baseball’s biggest star locked up for the remainder of his career.
Mike Trout Signs Record-Breaking Contract Extension
If you thought that Bryce Harper got paid when he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies a few weeks ago, just wait til you see how much Mike Trout just got.
Trout has been the best player in baseball for the better part of a decade and is he is being rewarded for his excellence with the largest contract in the history of professional sports.
Trout not only surpassed the amount that Harper made by $100 million, but he also signed for one less year only furthering the disparity between the two deals.
While you might think it is a lot of money to spend on one player, Trout is absolutely worth every penny.
The production that Trout has had over the first eight years of his career is not only the best among current players, but is arguably the best in MLB history.
In fact, Trout is one pace to be the all-time leader in many categories including hits, home runs, runs scored and walks.
Trout is clearly the best player in the game today, so it is fitting that he would now have the largest contract.
Knuckleballer Shockingly Suspended For Steroids
Knuckleball pitchers don’t rely on velocity to get outs, but instead try to through off a hitters timing so much that they can’t hit the soft pitch.
In fact, most knuckleballers turn to that pitch because they do not have the velocity to get outs without it.
So with all that being said, why would a knuckleball pitcher need to use steroids?
While it seems like that would be the last person on an MLB roster to take steroids that is reportedly the case with Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright.
Wright is one of the few knuckleballers that is still left in baseball and he has pitched to plenty of success over the last couple of years.
In 2016, Wright was an All-Star as he made 24 starts for the Red Sox and pitched to a 3.33 ERA. Last season Wright pitched to a 2.68 ERA albeit in just 53 2/3 innings pitched.
Considering the fact that Wright was suspended for domestic violence last year and is now suspended for PEDs, this could be the last we see of Steven Wright in the MLB.
MLB Planning to Add an All-Star ‘Election Day’
Over the past couple of years, we have seen the All-Star games of various sports make changes to attract more fan excitement.
The NBA dropped the Eastern Conference versus Western Conference format in favor of a schoolyard draft between the league’s two most popular players.
Meanwhile the NFL has tried similar schoolyard drafts in recent years, as well as bringing back the skills competitions, which culminates in a competitive dodge ball tournament between the two conferences.
Now baseball is trying to make some changes of their own, as they attempt to spark interest in their All-Star Game.
This new “Election Day” would take place after the normal voting process and it would put the top three vote-getters at each position on a new ballot. That new ballot will be voted on by the fans on “Election Day”, which will presumably end with the All-Star starters being announced.
While it may seem like a pointless exercise, as the top vote-getter would likely still win the vote on the Election Day, this is a nice way to keep fans engaged in the All-Star process.
Fans have loved the addition of the “Final Vote” that was introduced not too long ago, which lets the fans vote between three players to see who gets the final spot on the All-Star Game roster.
The “Final Vote” has sparked plenty of fan engagement through social media campaigns, which has to be the motivation behind this new format.
Another benefit to the “Election Day”, is that it helps prevent a single fan base from getting all of their starters into the All-Star Game.
In 2015, the Kansas City Royals were the best team in baseball and their fan base was rather excited about it. At one point in the All-Star voting process, all eight of the Royals starters were leading the voting at their position.
Ultimately, only four Royals made it that year through the fan vote, but it could have been much worse.
Now with the Election Day, fans can get a second chance to make sure that the right player is starting in the Midsummer Classic.
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