Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper agreed a 13-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies worth $330 million. In this picture, Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals celebrates as he crosses home plate after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida, May 27, 2018. Eric Espada/Getty Images

The Bryce Harper saga finally came to an end on Thursday with the Philadelphia Phillies winning the race for the outfielder with a 13-year deal worth $330 million. The deal has no opt-out and a full no-trade clause which will see Harper most likely remain with the franchise through to the 2031 season.

The Phillies were the front-runners for the right fielder’s signature through most of the offseason, especially since their face-to-face meeting in January. But in the last 10 days, it suddenly looked like they could be left red-faced as the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers entered the race and made serious offers to the player.

Harper is said to have always maintained that he wants a long-term deal –at least 10-years – and the valuation was expected to surpass Giancarlo Stanton’s record which was a 13-year deal worth $325 million. It finally came to fruition with the Phillies, but at one point it looked like the Dodgers had stolen the march over their MLB rivals.

But the Los Angeles franchise despite being among his preferred destinations was said to be unwilling to alter their stance and insisted on offering a short-term deal. According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, their offer stood at $135 million over 3-years or $168 million over four.

While that would have made Harper the highest earning player in terms of annual average salary in MLB history comfortably topping Zack Greinke’s $34.5 million annual salary, he was only interested in a long-term deal. That meant the Dodgers were immediately out of the race leaving just the Giants in play.

And the San Francisco franchise was not willing to go down without a fight as CEO Larry Baer and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi were spotted in Las Vegas on Sunday. They met with Harper and his agent Scott Boras and after initially thinking short-term, they later changed their mind and were willing to offer the outfielder a long-term deal.

NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic reports that the Giants had made a 12-year offer worth $310 million, which was higher in terms of average annual value. And it is claimed that they were willing to go higher once they learned that the Phillies had offered $330 million over 13-years.

But they were unable to top the offer once they realized that to match the annual average salary they had to offer well over the $330 million owing to the high taxes in the state of California. If not they would have likely landed the six-time All-Star, who had considered the Giants a preferable destination owing to the proximity to his home town of Vegas.

However, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, money was not the sole motivating factor for Harper to choose the Phillies over other interested franchises. He revealed that “family” played a key role in his decision making and that Phillies owner John Middleton traveling with his wife to Vegas on Friday last week to meet with the Harpers – Bryce and his wife Kayla – was a key factor in him choosing Philadelphia as his home away from home for the next 13 years.