Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Dodgers wanted Harper. Dodger fans, at least the ones still pouting over the trade of Yasiel Puig, really wanted Harper. He is a Top Ten Play guy, an entertainer, a guy who competes loudly.But the Phillies needed Harper. Wisely, they are not building around him. They have already built. He is an enhancement.They brought shortstop Jean Segura, the former N.L. hits leader and Angels prospect who was traded to get half a season of Zack Greinke. They traded for J.T. Realmuto, one of the better offensive catchers. They added David Robertson to join the imposing Seranthony Dominguez in the back of the bullpen.They already have Rhys Hoskins, who has 52 home runs in his first 203 major league games, and Aaron Nola, third in last year’s Cy Young Award voting and the recipient of a contract extension through 2023. Harper already knew the Phillies’ story, having played them 19 times per year for seven years. He wouldn’t have considered them if their story hadn’t changed.Harper should improve all teammates. But the value of signing him was psychological, too. Now their fans will say the Phillies have made a “serious commitment” to winning. They were doing that anyway, but in this twitchy world you need symbols and drama.The focus now goes to Mike Trout, whose career has lapped Harper and nearly everyone else’s.The Angels have him through 2020. If Harper is worth $330 million, Trout is worth the European Union. He has neither encouraged nor discouraged those who think that he’s gone or that he prefers to play within a gas tank of Millville, N.J. When asked Friday, Trout said his spring training focus was on baseball, not an extension.Trout’s auction will make Harper’s look like a yard sale.If you think Harper’s contract removes the Phillies from the Trout-a-rama, think again. By 2021 Jake Arrieta’s $25 million Average Annual Value will be off their books, and so will Robertson’s $11.5 million. Harper’s figure is a constant $25.4 million, although his actual salary fluctuates.The luxury tax threshold will have risen to $210 million. Even then, a first-time violator like the Phillies would only pay a 20 percent penalty. No team that really wants Trout, at whatever rate, will be stopped by some breachable number.Meanwhile, the Dodgers add A.J. Pollock to the highest-scoring offense in the league and hope that the surgeons can give them a better Corey Seager. Their silly money would be saved for a Game One-caliber pitcher.That person has not yet materialized, so they’ll play their hand, and if they run into the $330 million man in the playoffs, so be it. He went 4-for-17 against them in the 2016 Division Series and, in real terms, he was rich even then. The Phillies made this monstrous, ironclad agreement with a guy who is far from the best player in the game and, in some seasons of the next 13, won’t be the best player on the Phillies. At times he wasn’t the best player on the Washington Nationals, one of two teams to break the $197 luxury tax barrier in 2018, and one of one that didn’t win a playoff series in doing so.Harper is getting his money because Scott Boras is the best choreographer since Bob Fosse, because Harper is only 25, because he gives good highlight, and because someone thinks that his MVP season of 2015 was really him, as opposed to the six others.When Boras noticed that infield shifts were dragging down Harper’s numbers, he wondered if they shouldn’t be modified or abolished for lefthand hitters. Harper’s OPS of .881 was 17th in the majors last year, fourth among lefty hitters. Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez, a switch-hitter, had a .991 OPS from the left side.In 2015 Harper matched his teenage hype. He hit .330 and led the N.L. in runs, homers (42), slugging, on-base percentage and OPS. But he only got MVP votes in two other seasons (30th place as a rookie, 12th in 2017).Harper was a .214 hitter in May, June and July of last season, although he turned it on to finish with 100 RBIs after the Nationals had surrendered. Imagine what a great outfielder is worth. In two years, we won’t have to.Bryce Harper signed a 13-year deal, worth $330 million, with the Phillies on Thursday. In 1980, a disgusted Ruly Carpenter sold the Phillies after he read that Claudell Washington had signed a 4-year, $3.2 million contract with Atlanta. Yes, the decimal point is in the right place.Carpenter declared baseball had just booked an aisle seat on a hellbound handbasket.By Friday the Phillies had sold 100,000 tickets. Even before that, their value was an estimated $1.7 billion.