"When I talked to him this offseason, I told him, 'Man, I want to get as much as I can so that you can blow me out of the water pretty much.' And he did," Harper said. "I'm very happy for him."
Harper also commented on the recent string of long-term extensions superstar players have been signing:
Scott Lauber @ScottLauber
Asked Harper about the slew of recent extensions (Arenado, Trout, Bregman, Nola, Severino, etc.). “It’s personal preference,” he said, adding that it’s “very good for the players. I’m excited for Mookie (Betts) to see what he gets, how he goes about it. (Aaron) Judge, as well.”
Harper and Trout have been linked throughout their careers, as Trout reached the majors in 2011 and Harper followed a year later. It's hardly surprising the pair would sign historic contracts in the same offseason.
Harper was the more hyped prospect, selected No. 1 overall in the 2010 MLB draft and dubbed the next great superstar in the game. Trout was a first-round pick the season prior, though he didn't bring the same level of hype.
Trout has been the bigger star at the MLB level, however, with the more impressive resume of the two players:
- Trout: two-time American League MVP, AL Rookie of the Year, seven-time All-Star, career .307 hitter with 240 homers, 648 RBI, 793 runs and 189 stolen bases in 1,065 games
- Harper: one-time National League MVP, NL Rookie of the Year, six-time All-Star, career .279 hitter with 184 homers, 521 RBI, 610 runs and 75 stolen bases in 927 games
Injuries have limited Harper more than Trout, but the latter's consistency is why he saw a dramatically bigger extension than the 13-year, $330 million contract Harper signed with the Phillies this offseason.
Had Trout become a free agent after the 2020 season, the bidding war would have been immense. Harper's Phillies assuredly would have been in the mix, as Trout was born in New Jersey and remains a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, often attending games.
Phillies fans dreamed of having both superstars in Philadelphia, but that won't happen barring a trade. But Harper is glad Trout got paid, and Phillies fans can be consoled by an exciting team led by its new superstar outfielder.