Well, thank goodness that's over.
The Philadelphia Phillies became the preseason favorites in the National League East -- which is worth something, I suppose, until the games begin in earnest -- with the signing of Bryce Harper to the largest contract in baseball history by total value. It is also, as odd as this might sound, kind of team-friendly. It's still a good deal for Harper, who has gone from high school phenom to No. 1 pick to MVP to a man who'll be rich beyond any of our wildest dreams. And he doesn't even have to be peak Harper to make this a very good deal for the Phillies.
Harper steps in as the Phillies' right fielder, replacing the disappointing Nick Williams, who has been somewhere around replacement level in a year-plus with the big club, and even just an adequate, healthy season from Harper makes that a four- to five-win upgrade.