Madison reacts to Bryce Harper’s new contract with Phillies


Devan Fink, Online Editor-in-Chief

Washington Nationals superstar outfielder Bryce Harper signed a new contract on Feb. 28, agreeing to an MLB-record 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Harper’s legacy in Washington, D.C. is a complicated one. The face of the franchise, Harper has been one of the most recognizable baseball players of the 2000s. From the time that he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated at the age of 16, Harper’s popularity has not wavered.

He made baseball in Washington, D.C. relevant again. He won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2012, the Most Valuable Player award in 2015 and has been named to six All-Star teams. He brought the Nationals out of their consistent cellar-dwelling state and into the national spotlight, helping them to win four NL East division titles and average 91 wins per season.

Even with all of these successes, there were failures. The Nationals failed to move on past the first round of the postseason. Harper did not lead them to the World Series as he promised. He often got injured. He had as many downs as he had ups. At least one Nationals player referred to losing Harper as “addition by subtraction.”

Here is how Madison reacted to the news of Harper signing in Philadelphia.

Nationals fan K.C. Buckley (’19):

I found out about Harper’s signing through a Twitter notification, and I was both angry that he signed with the Phillies of all teams and sad because Bryce is one of my favorite players. He helped make a name for the Nats. I analyzed his decision and every offer that he had to choose from for some time and talked about it with several people within an hour of so after finding out this news. I’m still a little angry about his choice, but he did what was best for him.

Nationals fan T.J. Jensen (’21):

At first, I was disappointed in his decision due to him waiting so long and finally choosing to sign with the Phillies in a contract that is just as reasonable as the Nationals’ offer. It hurts to see a player literally grow up in the system and leave. Bryce turned the organization around, leading them to their first division championship in Nationals history. I’m happy for Bryce and his history-making contract, but I will feel obligated to boo him this season. Now that it has sunken in, I’ve moved on, realizing that the Nationals will be just as good without him, with our young start outfielder Victor Robles filling in Harper’s spot.

Phillies fan Henry Freck (’19)

I was ecstatic to hear that we were able to sign him. Not only do I think his talent will help the team, but I think he will be a great leader for the young talent. Well worth $330 million.

AP Statistics teacher and Phillies fan Dan Grossman:

It was a shock, disbelief, surprise, because I didn’t think he wanted to come to Philly. I underrated the appeal of being able to say, ‘I got the biggest contract ever.’ I am excited. It’s got me excited about Phillies baseball for the first time in a decade.