“You Guys Know How Philly Is”: Why Aaron Nola and Trea Turner Rejected Better Offers to Return Home, Explained by Bryce Harper

Published 11/20/2023, 9:03 AM EST

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Philadelphia Phillies star cornerman Bryce Harper thinks things back at the team are perfectly tailored to its players’ sporting spirits. That’s the reason why once a player becomes a member of the Phillies clubhouse, one seldom sees them migrating to another club on their own. And there have been multiple instances to prove this.

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Harper’s teammate, Aaron Nola, just opted for a massive AAV miss out alongside declining a qualifying offer inside the team to get a better and longer-term contract with them. He might have had one of the shortest stints as a free agent this season; however, whatever offers were on their way toward him from the contending teams were left stranded. Another favorite Phillies slugger, Trea Turner, did a similar thing just last season. As per Harper, things have always been the same back home; after all, loyalty is the last thing the Phillies have to think about when it comes to their players.

The tried-and-true Phillies trio: Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola, and Trea Turner

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Two-time Silver Slugger awardee Bryce Harper recently sat down with The Pat McAfee Show to discuss the Philadelphia Phillies. For him, what matters most is the indomitable spirit of the club; it prevails because of the homely atmosphere behind the scenes. Harper believes that it’s the vibe that matters the most. The Phillies’ display of fearlessness on the field and their players’ consistent history of returning home at the end of each season further prove his theory.

Aaron Nola, the Phillies’ ace and two-time Cy Young nominee, has been with the team since 2015. He just made waves across the Phillies fanbase by coming back following his short free-agency phase this offseason. Phillies’ rival teams like the Atlanta Braves also reportedly pursued Aaron Nola; however, the slugger was reluctant to entertain an offer.

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Interestingly, Nola had already declined a qualifying offer from the Phillies worth $20.35 million for a year. The team previously drew up a $150 million, six-year contract for him with an AAV of $25 million. Aaron Nola decided to skip a $5 million AAV to have an extra year with the team, after which he was offered a $172 million contract for seven years.

Aaron Nola’s peer, Trea Turner, doesn’t fall behind in his trials of loyalty either. He declined a $342 million Padres offer last season to agree to an 11-year, $300 million contract with his home team. One is a start; twice is a coincidence. But having multiple instances of players staying back home only further proves the atmosphere the Phillies have so carefully fostered for their players, and Harper couldn’t agree more.

Bryce Harper and his Phillies values

“You guys know how Philly is,” Harper mused to the McAfee interviewers. “Being able to play in front of a fanbase like that, there’s nothing like it… Just the vibe of our team? ” The star slugger has made no secret of loving the City of Brotherly Love, supporting Philly’s other sports teams. The Phillies know the city loves them right back, creating a unique atmosphere in the clubhouse.

“If anybody says anything or anything goes, you know, crazy, or anything happens, our team is gonna come back and do those things; kinda just worked out for the best for all of us, and I mean, (it’s) just a lot of fun to be able to be a part of that,” he continued. As they say, loyalty is a two-way street.

The faithful family of the Philadelphia Phillies

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The facet of faithfulness seems to extend beyond the bounds of the diamond. Phillies fans are famous for being very vocal and strict with their loyalty to the team, and according to a certain baseball specialist, there’s a good reason behind that.

Dr. Joel Fish, a sports psychologist from Philadelphia, says that the trait of loyalty runs through the very fiber of the City of Brotherly Love. “In Philadelphia, you have three, four generations of people who watched the Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, Flyers over time, so you have grandparents who pass it down to their children to their grandchildren.” The dedication passes down from generation to generation, who always show up in Citizens Bank Park to create an uproar against the opposing teams.

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Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola, and Trea Turner are all set to play for the home team next season. The Phillies’ first game will start on February 24, 2024. How do you think they’ll fare in the first game of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays? Let us know your views in the comment section below!

Watch This Story: Top Agent Applauds Bryce Harper’s $330M Championship Strategy Amid Phillies’ World Series Quest

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Written by:

Shrabana Sengupta

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Shrabana Sengupta, a budding MLB writer for EssentiallySports, has been a fan of the New York Yankees since their school days. In their adolescence, they got to know about the sport from one of the beloved Friends characters, Joey. Their passion blossomed into a reserve of knowledge within the realms of MLB, and with the dynamic evolution of the game, they discovered their true vocation while stumbling upon EssentiallySports, which served as a major catalyst for their entry into the field of sports entertainment journalism.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot

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