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Bryce Harper reaches 10 years of service time


Bryce Harper has now spent 10 years in the majors. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper reached 10 years of service time in the majors Tuesday.

The Washington Nationals made Harper the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, a class that also included Manny Machado, Matt Harvey, Yasmani Grandal, Christian Yelich, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom.

Harper made his Major League Debut at age 19 on April 28, 2010 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Harper started in left field — with former Phillie Jayson Werth in right field — in that game and hit seventh in Jim Riggleman’s lineup. Harper went 1-3 with a sacrifice fly in an eventual extra-innings loss to Matt Kemp and the Dodgers.

In total, Harper spent parts of seven seasons with the Nationals, making six All-Star Game appearances and winning the 2015 National League MVP in just his age-22 season. As a National, Harper homered 184 times, drove in 521 runs and posted a .900 OPS, cementing himself as one of the better players in the history of the Montreal Expos/Nationals organization.

After homering 24 times and driving in 66 runs in 110 career games against the Phillies, Harper left Washington to sign with the division rivals after the 2018 season. The Phillies gave Harper by far the largest contract in franchise history, a 13-year/$330 million deal.

Now in his fourth season with the Phillies, Harper is the reigning National League MVP, becoming one of 32 players in MLB history to win multiple league MVPs last season. Entering play Tuesday night, Harper has slashed .279/.400/.553 with 85 home runs and 240 RBIs in 367 games as a Phillie.

One of the advantages of reaching 10 years of service time is that you become eligible for 10-and-5 rights, which give you a full no-trade clause if you’ve played for your current team for at least five straight years. Harper hasn’t been with the Phillies for half a decade yet, but it doesn’t matter because his contract includes a full no-trade clause.

As Harper reaches 10 years of service time, he’s a pretty safe bet to be a Hall of Famer when his career concludes. He has 269 home runs, so he could very well push 500 in his career. And given that he’s under contract through the 2031 season, he’ll have plenty of time to cement his place in MLB history.

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