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Phillies' Bryce Harper eyes playing into 40s, accepts move to 1B

Sun Feb 18 12:37pm ET
Field Level Media

Bryce Harper wants to finish his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, and he doesn't just mean playing out the remainder of the 13-year, $330 million contract he signed in 2019.

Harper, 31, shared his vision of the future with reporters on Sunday in the Phillies' spring training clubhouse in Clearwater, Fla., and that includes a contract extension.

"I want to be here for a long time and understand playing into my 40s, that's the biggest thing for me," the two-time National League MVP said. "So I wanted to get that done."

Harper spent the first 10 years of his career as an outfielder before moving to designated hitter for most of 2022 due to a torn elbow ligament.

He underwent Tommy John surgery in November 2022 and was slated to be the Phillies' full-time designated hitter upon his return. However, Rhys Hoskins missed the entire 2023 season due to a torn ACL, and Harper wound up taking over at first base upon his return to action in May.

"We had a pretty good conversation, me and (Dave Dombrowski, Phillies president of baseball operations), we sat down and he said this would be great for our organization, and I said, OK," Harper said. "I wanted them to know that I was on board with anything that they wanted to do. I said if you want me in right field, I'll play right. If you want me at first, I'll play first base, and I think as a collective they said first base is where we want you, and I said, OK, I'm going to do anything I can to be there."

Hoskins since has signed a two-year, $34 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers in free agency.

Harper batted .293 with 21 homers and 72 RBIs in 126 games last season.

A seven-time All-Star, Harper has a .281 career average with 306 homers, 889 RBIs and .912 OPS that is sixth among active players, behind Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, Joey Votto and Ronald Acuna Jr.

Votto is a free agent.

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