Says Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci:
When the Phillies met with Bryce Harper last Saturday, their best sales pitch should have been this:
You have the opportunity to play the prime of your career in a great hitters’ ballpark.
To sign Harper might require the Phillies to spend a record amount of money: either an average annual value of more than $34.4 million (breaking the record of Zack Greinke) or at least $326 million (breaking the record of Giancarlo Stanton).
But the terms follow a sales pitch that the Phillies can present better than any other club. The Yankees, despite all their money and righthanded hitting, appear to have never had much interest in a 26-year-old lefthanded slugger on a Hall of Fame track with the biggest profile in baseball.
The intersection of Harper’s prime years and Citizens Bank Park should be an irresistible temptation for the Phillies. Harper has played his career in a home ballpark, Nationals Park, that is at best neutral for hitters.
Take a look at this: where Citizens Bank Park and Nationals Park rank among all major league parks in Home Run Park Factor since Harper reached the big leagues. The higher the rank, the friendlier the park is to home runs.
HOME RUN PARK FACTOR RANKS
|YEAR||CITIZENS BANK PARK||NATIONALS PARK|