Paulsen: Harper was 'always going to go to the highest bidder'

Chris Lingebach
February 28, 2019 - 4:10 pm

Bryce Harper got his record-setting deal after all, agreeing in principal on Thursday to sign with the Phillies for $330 million over 13 years.

That's the way it was always going to work out since the start of free agency, Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan says.

BREAKING: Harper Gets Mega-Deal With Phillies

"The bottom line is he played in Washington here for the better part of seven seasons," Paulsen told Chad Dukes. "He was drafted here in 2010 at No. 1 overall. He's waited for nine years for a chance to go get that big bite at the apple and to do something no one's ever done before, and until Mike Trout surpasses him, he's the record-holder for the highest-paid athlete in the history of sports.

"And this is something that he's been working toward, and Scott Boras has been working toward, since the day he decided to leave high school early to go to the College of Southern Nevada. He went to the highest bidder, and that was always going to be Philly and I think everything else was just a bunch of noise. Probably by design, honestly."

"I think the Giants stuff in the last 24 hours, the Dodgers stuff two days ago – it was all to get the number a little bit higher for the Phillies," he said. "And it worked."

For as long as it took both parties to reach this number, all of the rampant speculation and reporting in between was a means for Harper and Scott Boras to obtain their end goal, Paulsen says.

"I think it's indicative of the fact that so much of the reporting on this was just wrong, for so much of the offseason, to be honest with you," Paulsen said. "Sometimes the more you know, the worse off you are, because you're really in the know if you're one of these reporters, and you're talking to a GM on one of the sides or an agent, let's say.

"And, if you don't know anything, and you're just sitting on the outside using common sense, you might have actually had a better guess at this thing. At the beginning of the offseason when you and I talked about this, the speculation was he was going to the team that was going to pay him the most – that was always going to be Philadelphia – he was going to get more than Manny Machado by upwards of $25-or-so million. And so, if you just look at it, he got $30 million more than Machado. Now, the annual average value is obviously very different."

"But I think really, at the end of the day, all he wanted to do was set the record for how much he was going to get paid," he continued. "And people get very bothered by that for some reason I'll never understand. I mean people in my mentions right now are furious about how he's money-hungry and whatever else. I suppose they can say what they like."

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