July 12, 2024

Following the Philadelphia Phillies’ lucrative extension of ace pitcher Zack Wheeler to a three-year, $126 million deal, the team has fortified its rotation with two top-tier starters, ensuring stability well into the 2027 season. While additional additions to the rotation are not ruled out, fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the Phillies’ competitive window appears to have widened for several more seasons.

Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto is just one of the players the team needs to sign to a contract extension before Bryce Harper

With attention now turning to the possibility of extending Bryce Harper, there’s a collective pondering on whether it’s the prudent move. Harper has been vocal about his desire to remain with the team, actively engaging in discussions about an extension since the end of the 2023 postseason. It’s a decision that resonates deeply with fans, prompting introspection: Is retaining Bryce Harper the wisest course of action?

The prevailing sentiment suggests otherwise. By the time Harper’s contract expires at the conclusion of the 2031 season, the two-time National League MVP will be 38 years old, an age where sustained productivity for position players is rare in today’s game—think Miguel Cabrera. Appreciation for his contributions notwithstanding, it might be time to bid farewell, Bryce.

Additionally, Trea Turner’s contract extends through 2033, when he’ll reach 41 years old. While this might seem a distant concern, it’s improbable that both Harper and Turner will maintain peak performance into their 40s. This raises doubts about the viability of retaining both players on the roster. Hence, extending Harper would likely prove to be a significant misstep for the Phillies.

Moreover, the team faces the imminent challenge of deciding on extensions for other key players. It’s imperative to prioritize contract negotiations for four players on the roster ahead of Bryce Harper.

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