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With Bryce Harper, are Phillies favorites in division, entire NL or more?

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Passan: No 'ill will' between Harper, Phillies (1:54)

Jeff Passan explains that Bryce Harper's contract with the Phillies was a business decision on both sides and there's no "ill will" about how long it took to negotiate it. (1:54)

After reaching an agreement with Bryce Harper on the biggest contract in big league history, the Philadelphia Phillies still aren't really favorites to win anything. However, the path for the Phils to reach front-runner status just became a lot more clear, and their ceiling just became a whole lot higher.

Harper, at his best, is an MVP-level player, one who put up a 10-WAR season at age 22. He also has shown a propensity for up-and-down play. His WAR by year: 5.2, 3.7, 1.1, 10.0, 1.5, 4.7, 1.3. That's an average of 3.9, closest to his output of Season 2. But the Phillies aren't paying for his average season, and they certainly aren't paying for his sub-2 WAR seasons. They are paying for that 10-win season, or at least the allure of it, and with a solid roster already in place, another such campaign by Harper could make the Phillies the National League's best team. It's an exciting thought, if not entirely realistic.