431 thoughts on “Machado and Harper Discussion

  1. Thank you Jim for putting up a separate chat for this topic. It was really a pain to have to scroll down all the time after refreshing the page to see all the new comments.

    With that being said, its Harper or bust for me. While we have had a nice off season thus far, without Harper it will be all for naught. We’ll have to outscore teams to win the games Nola is not pitching so we REALLY need Harper. He is the end game that we have to finish.

    I’m also anxious to see what Hinkie and Cali Dreaming have to say about the recent developments.

  2. When news of the Machado deal spread through the Complex, all front office types who were watching the work outs quickly left for the offices in Spectrum Field.

    Note, Klentak has been noticeably absent from the Complex. He normally watches the work outs. And Middleton was still here as of Monday.

    1. Good intelligence, Jim. As I posted on the GoodPhight site earlier, I liken the Harper situation to Pete Rose back in 1978. That team of the mid to latter 70s was on the cusp, but fell short three straight very frustrating years. They had all the ingredients, but one: a lightening rod. In came Rose, hated by all but his teammates, to fill the void and provide the spark for the ‘80 WS championship.

      So, Middleton and Klentak, do not wring your hands over valuation, whatever that means in this crazy environment. Sign this uber-talent, so desperately needed by a desolate fanbase, and bring hope and expectation back to CBP. It’s been far too long since that streak of consecutive sell-outs.

      Carpe diem.

  3. I think that it is interesting that the White Sox supposedly had a higher potential value deal. But the last two years had to vest based on playing time. So the player went with the higher guaranteed value contract.

    The lesson, don’t get cute. If the Sox guaranteed the best years, they would have landed Machado.

    I don’t know what the holdup is with Harper. Likely it isn’t total value or length, but rather guaranteed money and vesting/opt-out terms. I hope that the Phils take heed of this lesson.

    1. My gut says he signs back with the Angels….but with an early ‘opt-out’ after the second or third year.

  4. At first I would have loved Machado in Philly but my gut was not as willing. I am happy for MM in SD, it is his type of town, not a baseball or sports town. Where are the Chargers and Clippers now? He does not have the courage to put it all on the line, he took the wasy money.

    Hopefully either we get Harper or he goes to an AL team. I badically want him in Philly because I don’t want to see him in CBP in an “enemy” uniform.

    1. I don’t think you should judge someone by news headlines. He took the most guaranteed money, which is basically what all athletes should do given their relatively short earnings window. Plus, the Padres have a lot of good young talent that could help them contend within the next 3-5 years. Also, SD is a beautiful place to live. Perhaps most importantly, what if he is the guy who leads SD to multiple playoff appearances? Then he is a leader and a hero.

      If he had signed with the Yankees instead, people would be saying he has no heart and is just a follower, trying to get easy WS rings.

  5. I wouldn’t want to be middleton, mk, or macphail in this city if they miss out on harper. they will be hearing about it all of 2019 unless the team is in first place the entire yr.
    my major concern is that they are so cute playing their valuation games that someone steps up boldly and we lose harper
    until they actually sign a long term high priced freeagent, its still all talk with MK , macphail and middleton no matter how much we trust middleton to spend
    what MK said about “walking away” from machado has me very concerned

  6. Word before Machado signed with SD was that something could happen with Harper by Friday. Don’t know if that’s now expedited but with Boras in the picture….he may still expect the Phillies to bid against themselves. More than ever before, I believe the field is ONE team. The “unsure” report yesterday was undoubtedly planted by Boras, coinciding with Manny’s news.

    1. I hope you are right
      assuming arenado resigns with Colorado and rendon with nats, if they miss out on harper, its really the pharm system and trades to get us to the playoffs until the offseason of 2020 and if they are not willing to spend on harper or machado, it may take a change in president or Gm for the leadership to sign a high end free agent

      I’m really worried that some team not worried about valuation like the nats or giants comes in with a throw caution to the wind offer and our leadership will ” walk away” and then spin it that they are always other ways to spend money

      1. ‘Valuation’ is Klentak talk. It’s not Middleton talk. The former just has to reason away as to why his boss wants Harper instead of the player he most likely preferred. Let’s not get hung up on the FOs public posturing.

      2. sr…Rendon has final arb at $19M this year…..now if they try to extend it will probably be near the end of this season.
        If Harper does th eloaylty thing and goes back to the Nats…cannot see how they make all the pieces fit with Rendon after next season.
        When they did Corbin, they more or less set their ceiling for their budget between either Harper or Rendon.

        1. I agree with everything you say but with a 90 yr old owner, he could easily say ” what the hell, I’m dying soon anyway and I want to see a world championship ” and go for broke with both harper and rendon

          1. sr…yeah could happen like that…but son Lerner now runs the operation, and he and Rizzo do call the shots. But if they defer to the father then more power to them.
            They better hope they win a WS soon….the aging Scherzer and Strasburg windows are not as wide open as they were 2/3 years ago.

        2. Romus, the Nationals’ signing Corbin with decisions re: extending Rendon and signing Harper reminds me of the Phillies sort of similar decision back in 2012 when they extended Cole Hamels. His $144M contract (now $158M after the Cubs exercised the 2019 option) basically ended their interest in resigning Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. Six days after Hamels inked his extension, Victorino was traded to the Dodgers (3 year $39M contract with Red Sox) and Pence was traded to the Giants ($13.8M for his final arb year and a 5 year $90M contract).

    1. Does Harper have a brother-in-law that plays baseball or even his best friend from childhood that the Phillies can bring in…KBryant?
      Oh…but maybe that doesn’t always work!
      I do think 3.3M Ben Franklin’s ship in Tastykake boxes could work.

  7. 702 states the Machado contract has put a wrinkle in the Harper negotiations. Ie, opt out and no deferrred money.

    Guess the Phillies were looking to defer and have no opts outs? Or Harper wanted more opt outs? Guess we will find out soon

    1. I think there’s no more posturing from Boras and Company. Machado contract info is out, Phils just have to beat it. Should wrap up soon.

      1. I think there’s no more posturing from Boras and Company. Machado contract info is out, Phils just have to beat it. Should wrap up soon.

  8. LOL I think if one more person posts harper is coming to philly because he once googled the name ben franklin on wikapedia or something like that, I’m going to scream at the top of my lungs

  9. I am going to make one last point on the argument that the Phillies couldn’t have had both Machado and Harper and still been able to sign Trout if he becomes a FA in 2 years.

    IMO, the decision was not whether to sign both players, it was whether or not to sign Machado or McCutchen.

    Machado was $30m AAV, but of course, you get rid of Franco if you sign Machado, so that is a net $25m contract. Well, Cutch was $20m AAV. So the delta is $5m in AAV. Assuming that you absolutely can NOT go over the luxury tax threshold (which the Red Sox proved last year is becoming a valuable tool to win a World Series), then all you have to do is shed $5m in payroll if you don’t sign Cutch and go with an OF, of Harper, Odubel and the rotation of Nick Williams, Quinn, Kingery and Altherr.

    But let’s say that you want to keep Cutch. The Phils have 3 mediocre middle relievers (Nicasio, Hunter and Neshek) all making between $7m and $10m this year and all are FA after this year. That means we have $26m going to 3 mediocre middle relievers this year and that money frees up next year.

    So to put it bluntly, would you trade Machado for Franco, Nicasio, Hunter and Neshek?

    No brainer, right?

    In 2021, the Phillies have $93m committed. However, $20m of that is a club option of Arietta. It seems unlikely that he will be worth that and so they will probably not exercise. Another $20 of that was Cutch. So if you chose Machado over Cutch this off-season, then they basically have tons of room to fill out the roster.

    Bottom line, the Phillies could have and, as I have been saying all along, should have signed both Machado and Harper this year and really Been Bold.

    1. except you’re talking AAV for 2/3 years and not 10 years. Yes, they could have signed both and still have been able to sign Trout in a couple of years but that would basically force them to rely completely on the farm system to fill the remainder of the roster starting in 2021 until those contracts ended. McCutchen is off the books in 3 years while Manny would still be there for another 7.

      IF3 players are accounting for over $100 million of payroll the other 22 players would all have to live with the rest. That allows around $5m available per player which leave little room for guys like Nola, Hernandez, etc.

      In 2021 they would have at least $193 committed if they had Harper, Machado, and Trout included. Even if you remove Arietta’s $20M, he needs to be replaced by someone.

      1. Not sure if you read the above post, but the point is, they are putting the money needed to acquire Machado elsewhere for far worse players collectively.

        Also, $100m to 3 players does NOT equal = “force them to rely completely on the farm system to fill the remainder of the roster starting in 2021 until those contracts ended” << that is not true. They would have a ton of room to sign players.

        To put that number in perspective, the entire Phillies team last year had a payroll of $93m. The first place Braves had a payroll of $83m last year. There are a ton of ways to fill out a team for $100m that already has 4 stars (including Nola) locked up.

        For example, if you took the top 4 paid players off of the LA Dodger's roster last year, they only spent $74 million. Let's look at the Red Sox, who spent $206m last year. If you take the top 4 paid players off that roster, they spent $118m. and the luxury tax in 2021 is $13m higher than it was in 2018. So that would be slightly over the luxury by $5m.

        Bottom line, they could have all 3 starts with Nola and have and great rest of the roster and compete for WS for most of those contract years.

        The only downside is the last few years of the contracts may be bad, but I would gladly trade a decade of competing for the WS for another 2-4 year rebuild process.

        1. Not sure where you got your numbers from but when I look at the Dodgers, according to COTS their top-4 players made about $80 million in 2018 while the rest of the roster was around $108M.

          For the RedSox their top 4 players made $96m with the rest of the roster being around $138 million.

          As for the Braves and Phillies examples, their payrolls were low specifically because they were made up of mostly pre-arbitration and early arbitration players.

          So if you want to be like the Red Sox and Dodgers, Adding $100 million worth of contracts for 3 players to the payroll would require the team to live above the tax threshold for multiple years or restrict who else the add to the roster.

          But in the end, it won’t happen so the discuss is moot…

          1. one update for the Dodger since I combined 2019/2018 numbers. In 2018 the remainder of their payroll was around $94.5 million minus the top 4 guys. It is interesting however to note that they had to move one of those top 4 guys (Kemp) to make room to sign AJ Pollick.

            1. The point is, you could have had Harper, Machado and Trout with Nola and still had a really strong supporting cast.

              They made a bad decision IMO prioritizing Cutch over Machado.

    2. having 3 players on 10 year deals with AAV >= $30m seems like too much risk to me….

      Could they have done it, yes. Is it smart, probably in the short term, but not so much years 5 to 10…

    3. The Red Sox were over the cap, but they didn’t have three players eating up half their payroll. In 2021, the threshold will be 210 million dollars. 15 million of that goes to players’ benefits, so that leaves 195 million dollars (assuming the Phillies abide by the tax cap) to spend on the team’s 40 man roster. The trio of Harper/Machado/Trout would cost at least 100 million dollars
      How about this … name the MLB team that employs three guys with 30+ million dollar AAV’s. Take your time. Think about it. Research it. Then get back to me with the answer. Here’s a hint: Harper (after he signs) will be the 7th in all of baseball.
      The Phillies were never going to sign both Harper and Machado because they are (smartly) planning for the *possibility* of Trout becoming available after 2020. budgeting for two years down the road is not some radical idea. I’ve been posting for the past few years the Phillies were manipulating their payroll in anticipation of this winter’s FA class.

      I won’t bore/exhaust you with the same info that was given to me in October, but I will say that as time has passed, pretty much everything that was explained to me has panned out:

      * Phillies had been planning for Machado until his “Johnny Hustle” comments (Jim Salisbury reported that yesterday) …. check !
      * split opinions on MM/BH after “Johnny Hustle” comments. MacKlentak = MM. Middleton = BH. (according to JimSalisbury yesterday) and below tweet from Jayson Stark …. check !

      * Phillies would only sign one superstar …. check !
      * Mike Trout is Middleton’s end game … I can’t prove it, but it’s since been reported in a couple of other places (Heyman, Gelb).

      It had been pretty obvious since their LV meeting, the Phillies had made Harper their priority. They could have outbid the SDP’s for MM if they really wanted him over BH. They were only signing one. The one they want is still available. John Middleton is willing to spend stupid money on Harper because he’s worth more than just another big (LH) bat in the middle of their lineup. Harper is a marketing windfall. The team as it’s made up now is interesting and definitely likeable. This club with Harper becomes maybe the most exciting team in MLB. Haper puts the Phillies in the same stratosphere as the Eagles and 76ers. He sells out CBP, and increases TV ratings. Harper/Boras are going to get their money, and John Middleton is going to get his face of the franchise superstar.

      1. Manny minus Franco’s contract = $25m. That is McCutch’s 2021 contract + $5m.

        There is nothing that they could get for that $5m delta that is anywhere close to the value of Manny over McCutch.

        They just misallocated the money.

  10. Olney, Nightengale and Morosi all saying the deal is coming soon, and it will have a 4 at the front of it. All 3 still say Phillies. Machado’s press conference is scehduled for Friday. My guess…Boras will want this deal announced BEFORE the MM press conference, its just soooo Boras.

    My guess [and its just mine]….Friday morning, more than 10 years, 400 million, several outs. Phillies sell 100,000 tickets this weekend, announce when a Bryce Harper Bobblehead Doll day will be…yada, yada, yada.

    1. If it’s 400+ million, it’s going to be at least a 12 year deal with opt outs and opt ins. Happy it’s finally going to happen.

        1. Hinkie – sounds like it’s an assumption from these national writers.

          I am guessing if it’s $400mil, it’s probably within your range that you mentioned

  11. I am buying in to the idea that it is done or close to done but will be announced right before Manny’s presser.

  12. I’m confident that a deal is happening. Harper will be batting 3rd for us this year in a lineup line this – Caesar, Cutch or Segura, Harper, Hoskins, Realmuto, Segura or Cutch, Hererra, Franco. That’s some lineup. Imagine if Franco has the year we all expected of him. 280/30/85 batting 8th. And Hererra bounces back to 290/15/70. Very possible this lineup could be the best in the league. Need SP!!

    1. Solid lineup with Harper in it. I’d comment on SP but this isnt the thread 🙂

      I think Harper is batting in their lineup by end of next week

  13. Hinkie…Olney was on the radio a bit ago and said he is hearing there is a 4 in the number. Now I guess it could be 340 or so, but I don’t think so. Middleton can not take the chance that the White Sox might transfer that $350 offer [280-70 optionals] to Harper, just can’t take that chance.

    Look, Boras wants to make a splash, and Middleton NEEDS to make a splash. There is no more time to be cute, there is only Harper and then what…Marwan Gonzalez???? Please. This is end game time and both Boras and Middleton know it. Not to mention now that Machado is signed Harper is the only major actor left on the stage and there are an awful lot of bit actors [Kimbrel, Keuchel, about 5 Gonzalez’s] who dearly want their 15 minutes of stage fame and likely can’t get it til both MM and Harper are signed.

    I believe this ends this week…and I don’t mean Sunday.

    1. FWIW Shadow said he has heard that Klentak is a pain in the a** to negotiate with because he is stubborn.

      I think Friday is our special day

      1. Matt K did say they can walk away at a certain point.
        If he does….Middleton might just tell him to keep walking.

        1. MK has had a good off season but time to get him out of the room so the adults can finish this. Boras and Middleton. No one else admitted

      2. This almost like “The Price is Right”. Guess the numbers in the correct order. I can vision Bryce Harper standing on stage with the models pointed at him as the contestants bid.

    2. OK … I found it. Buster Olney said it on the Baseball Tonight podcast. Here is Olney’s quote: “Because of the emotion involved in it, and knowing Scott (Boras) will sometimes through smoke and mirrors in the options, deferred money, whatever it is … the contract will definitely be higher than most people in the game expect. It won’t shock me if Bryce’s deal, when it’s first leaked out through one of Scott’s guys in the media, is going to have the 4 in it.”

      1. If they pay $100m more for Harper than a price at which they could have had Machado, then they made a bad resource allocation decision. Manny + $10m AAV in FAs > Bryce. Not close imo.

        But let’s see. My guess is it is in the $340-$349 range. Buster said “it has a 4” not “it starts with a 4”. Either way it is an odd phrasing. But I highly doubt they spend $100m more for Harper than Manny.

  14. White Sox and Padres both announce they are “out” on Harper negotiations, Nats apparently have moved on. Down to Phillies and Giants.

    Expect a lot of “Harper to the Giants” rumors in the next day or so as Boras tries to get every last dime from the Phillies. I think he will get it and Middleton will gladly pay it.

    1. I think the strategy of waiting by the agents worked. The Padres panicked, I bet they had not sold 10000 season tickets, so whoever signs BH will pay 40 to 50 million more than thy otherwise would have

  15. If this doesn’t work out with Harper, improve the team in other ways. Tear up Realmuto,s contract, give him a raise and then tack 3 years on to it, Maybe give Hoskins a raise and establish some good will for future negotiations. Possibly take a flyer on Keuchel with an Arietta type contract with a,variety of options. I really don’t want this to become a distraction in camp,and detract from spring training

    1. Establish some good will with Hoskins for future negotiations with Boras, heh, heh, ha, ha! That’s the best laugh I’m going to have all week.

    2. You don’t give Hoskins a raise. He is under team control until after the 2023 season. Handing him a raise would exponentially impact each of his arbitration years from 2021 thru 2023. He’s a Boras client and history shows us that he would be unlikely to sign an extension. He becomes a free agent after his age 30 season. He plays a position that has lots of free agents available each off season. If Boras doesn’t consider an extension, do a QO (if we’re still doing that in the new CBA) and let him walk. I know that sounds harsh, but first base is almost a fungible position anymore. And, maybe Harper is ready to move to first base in 2024? 😉

      1. I understand the impact that giving a raise would have a ripple effect on his arbitration year. My real preference was working out a longer term arrangement with Realmuto. He plays a skill position and is not as fungible as a first baseman

      2. Hoskins may even decide to go in another direction with another agent at some pointt along the way…others have done it.
        Top three right now are Boras, Excel and then third is Lozano’s MVP.

        1. Even if Boras is his agent, there’s a big difference between “the Phillies have always been good to me…get me the best offer on the market and see if they’ll match” as opposed to ” these guys took adavanage of me…get me out of here “

          1. MarcH….but that difference…does not make a difference to Boras.
            Boras’ clients regularly, without any exceptions that i am aware of, will test the FA market
            Now there have been many who get QOs…..and just not sure if any have accepted them.
            One i know got ‘screwed’…Moustakas….declined the QO, and did not make up that money and this year again took a lower salary for yet another one year deal..

            1. You’re right….once a player hires Boras, testing the free agent waters and grabbing the highest offer to go elsewhere becomes almost inevitable

            2. I know this isn’t for a handful of years but I expect to see them let Hoskins walk or trade him at the deadline of his contract year. At 30 w boras he’ll want at least a 5 year contract and I also don’t think he’s gonna be the player everyone thinks he will be. I think he’ll be better than league average but no where near a star. Hosmer ish.

      3. Agree. For me, 1b is the one position on the field that a team should not spend big money since it’s the easiest position to fill. Hoskins is valuable specifically because he’s cheap right now.

    3. I preferred Machado since his fielding likely holds up for many years. His bat may never be Top10 in any season but seems like less long term risk as he may still be above average at 3B in 10 years.

      Harper may keep his value due to OBP. But his fielding is just average now and he may end up a below average 1B in 10 years.

      In my opinion it is much easier to find a corner OF than a plus 3B. With the ‘possibility’ of Trout who may move to corner OF, I think Machado made even more sense.

      I get that Harper is more of a Philly guy but most important thing is winning team. I think Williams/Machado plus midseason options is better than Harper/Franco.

      I think the starting pitching is much below the top teams. Without Nola it is not playoff caliber. The improved bullpen may preserve some wins if the lineup can get enough runs.

      Somewhat related, I really think the Phillies should avoid any long term deal with Hoskins. I see Howard-like decline and finding 1B hitters is the easiest option in FA. Especially, if Harper is signed with likely move to 1B is his future.

  16. A Friday deadline seems reasonable. There are worse things in Phillies world than seeing Nick WillIams and Roman Quinn play more

  17. Yeah I don’t know about all this Harper stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have him. But most people believe Manny Machado is the best all-around free agent this year. The White Sox wouldn’t approach $300M. The Yankees didn’t approach $300M. The Phillies didn’t think he was worth $30M a year. The Padres balked and got him.

    Now we have a pretty good idea that the Giants are in at Harper, but only in a short-term overpay. The Nats allegedly offered 10/300; then made another offer “substantially bigger.” And apparently, Harper has turned down multiple offers of over $300M….. And he has not been as consistently great as Machado……..

    This doesn’t all add up to me. I think Boras tried to take advantage of his good relationship with the Lerners and overplayed his hand. I’ll be interested to see how his all ends up, but I cannot fathom the Phillies dropping $400M.

  18. Todd Zolecki is one of best sources for a Philles slant on things. He says the team feels like the only club left to bid against might be … themselves.

    1. Jake Russell is a sports writer with the Washington Post.

      Maybe there are no more competitors for Harper.

  19. I understand bidding against yourself but if the numbers are close, its worth it to get him signed and at spring training
    example if youre at 310 for 10 yrs and he wants 326. that’s 1,6 million a yr, the cost of a cheap relief pitcher, just give it to him

    1. I don’t understand the love affair with Bryce. Great player, far from generational, likely not top 5.

      He’s oft injured, and was bad defensively last year. His MVP season was unreal, but he also has 3 seasons w a sub 2 WAR.

      I absolutely do not see him as a “give him whatever he wants” player. And it seems like the rest of the league doesn’t either.

      1. understandable
        my point is if you want him and the numbers are close, its not worth losing 3-4 weeks of spring trainng and ticket sales in the name of valuation

      2. Stop it. MLB had him as a top 20 player in baseball, not as an outfielder but in ALL of baseball. He’s a few years removed from hitting .330
        He hasn’t put up generational type numbers consistently but he does have generational type talent. No one will argue that.

        1. To add to that, 400m is insane tho. If that’s what it takes, I’d have zero issue w them walking away (would hate it but I would understand). In no world is he worth 100m more than MM.

          1. In the world of business he may be worth that much more than MM. We don’t know exactly what the key considerations are, but let’s assume that the club doesn’t think that MM is worth $30M more in revenues than would be pulled in without him, but BH is worth $40M more in total revenues- which are accounted for by many things other than wins and losses. In this model, Bryce is much more valuable and the only direct contribution of wins and losses to the equation are the extra receipts generated by reaching the playoffs multiplied by whatever fraction of 1 that the analysts feel represent the additional likelihood of reaching the playoffs due to the addition of Harper. Remember, while Middleton is a fan, he is primarily a businessman.

  20. I believe the $400m thrown out there by Olney would only be so if 2 option yrs were part of the deal. Boras will certainly leak that if only to try and impress the masses. Scott Lauber was just on 94 and mentioned Grienke’s record AAV at $34m+. If that figure is a Boras target then you’re looking at 10/$345-350, with the option yrs potentially yet unlikely taking Harper’s contract to the $400m neighborhood.

    1. Olney’s phrasing was confusing, but it seems illogical to me that Harper gets $100m more than Manny got.
      1. It is debatable whether he is worth more. Certainly a better hitter but a far worse defender at a non-premium position. No way did the Phils value Manny under $300 and Bryce at $400.
      2. There is not a massive bidding war with big market clubs for Bryce. If the Yankees, Dodgers and Phils were all bidding, then maybe it gets that high. But unless there is a mystery team, the market isn’t there
      3. If the Phils were truly offering $400, it would be done by now. Boras is greedy, but he isn’t a fool.

      Olney said that the number “has a 4 in it.” I think that was a poorly phrased way of saying in the $340s.

  21. Jon Heyman tweets that the Phillies “total focus” right now is on signing Harper. That’s not revelatory but it may indicate that we’re nearing the finish line. This whole process may be coming down to creativity on the part of the FO. Middleton has probably ok’d the total numbers but Klentak and Boras may be parsing out the language, opt outs, opt ins, bonuses that might inflate the amount. But 10/$350 sounds like a good guess at this stage. IMO, the overpay may simply be the cost of getting the deal done. The Phillies need to more than Boras/Harper though I’m sure Bryce wants to get to camp. Funny that Jon Morosi predicted the news would break minutes before Machado’s presser, which takes place tomorrow (Fri). Only because it would be so Boras to try to steal somebody else’s thunder, especially a rival agent whose own deal will fall short of his glory.

    Afterward, Heyman also mentions that Keuchel (more likely) or Kimbrel may have their attention.

      1. Exactly. The Phillies have closed ranks on leaks. When they do that nothing gets out. So, anything we read is coming from Boras or is being made up by guys with “sources”. The Philly beat writers have had little substantive info on this because they are getting nothing from the FO. When this is ready to happen, the Heyman’s of the world will be retweeting Zolecki, Salisbury, Gelb …

  22. My hunch is that Harper will sign with the Giants. It’ll be 4 years guaranteed for a higher average annual salary than Machado (4 years 125M) with a series of options that , if they beat, will make his contract the highest ever. No inside info or anything… just my opinion:guesstimate

    1. Why?

      Why would anyone leave $150+ MILLION in guaranteed money on the table to sign with an over-the-hill core on a team that really has no shot to win during the contract window? In a park that is routinely brutal for lefties who aren’t the greatest hitter of all time (not named Babe Ruth) on steroids?

      This whole SF narrative is tired. It’s not going to happen. And if it’s all Boras has left, he’s going to quickly realize how tired it is and get a deal done very soon.

      1. I always laugh when people talk about hitting in San Fran . . . didn’t the best hitting left handed batter of all time play in San Fran, never had an issue with his numbers. Harper isn’t the overall hitter that Bonds was (obviously) but he does have the power. Park won’t be an issue and on a scale of importance, I doubt it’s talked about much between Boras and Harper.

        1. EricD…..come on man!
          Look what every LHB has hit in that park since Barry the Juice man was hitting there.
          Bonds had the power tool for sure but he also had great contact ability….12% career K rate….whether it was PED aided can be argued.
          Harper is almost 10 points higher in his career K rate….Oracle I do not see helping him much at all in his overall offensive metrics.

        2. http://www.espn.com/fantasy/baseball/story/_/page/mlbdk2k16_parkfactors/which-parks-most-least-favorable-fantasy-baseball-hitters-pitchers-mlb

          “No ballpark in baseball depresses home runs more than AT&T Park, and especially lefty hitters’ homers; it’s remarkable that Barry Bonds fared as well as he did here. Marlins Park (0.659 home run factor) was the only other venue even close for lefties, and that’s before the Marlins moved in their fences this winter. The game’s deepest right-center field measurement (421 feet) and 21-feet-high fence in both right-center and right fields are largely responsible, which also explains this park’s No. 6 ranking in terms of lefties’ extra-base hits (1.072). That forgiving outfield is one of the primary arguments for Jeff Samardzija warranting as much patience as possible from fantasy owners as he attempts a rebound from a miserable 2015.”

          1. Yes and who was the last LH hitter who had the power or hitting abilities of Harper? He will not have an issue hitting in San Fran.

  23. I know I got mocked previously but there are rumors that Padres are still
    Pushing for Harper. Harper apparently told them if they can match Phillies 10 yr 330 he’d sign with SD
    Take it fwiw
    Crazy if Padres sign both lol
    I’d be sick

    1. On the upside, Harper will be removed from the Nats. Sure he’d be perfect for us, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he signed with SF or SD.

      1. I agree as well. But I understand it from Harper’s perspective.The Padres play in a beautifully city and have a team with a lot of potential. The Giants also play in a beautiful city , and, in the past, have shown a willingness to spend money to attract players to go there. At this point, the Phillies are probably a better team than either of those two, but those two cities are vastly superior to Philadelphia as far as being a plaice to live and work. If we want stars, we have to grow them ourselves, which is why people go to this site in the first place.

          1. Manny didn’t seem phased by the taxes

            As long as Klentak doesn’t screw it up, Harper will be on the Phillies but I’ve said all along the Padres are a legit threat

          2. A room with a view costs more money–the quality of life considerations might justify it for him , especially since he grew up in the West . But just a guess

        1. Marc H…yeah…those two cities have greater amenities as far as beauty….but they do not have , and just a hop and skip away, Camden! 🙂

        2. Sf is a craphole now. naked people, homeless, nut jobs, human feces, and drug paraphernalia. No thanks.

    2. Think about this. The padres have little to no pitching staff. Their top prospects are hitters. They have I’m going to guess never had a top 5 mlb payroll and now they are going to give all the marbles to two players that are also hitters? And both with flaws? If the second guy was a stud pitcher, say kershaw before he resigned with LA, then I’d say maybe a small chance. A lot of these rumors of SD being involved are completely unsubstantiated. The Phillies main competition is from SF and I don’t even know if they’ve broached anything close to 300 million guaranteed. The Phillies need to hold firm if they are offering 10 for 326 to beat out the Stanton deal. That’s the absolute limit.

      1. Totally agree. The word “unsubstantiated” is the key word for this entire ordeal. The Phillies will sign Harper as soon as Boras has satisfied his dog and pony show impulses. Or Middleton says, “enough already!”

        1. … and with their total salary around $145M and a line up that includes Harper, Machado, Hosmer they could attract FA pitchers to their pitcher friendly park during the next couple off seasons.

          1. They have 10 guys in the top 100, 7 are pitchers . . . So to reference their prospects and then say they have no pitching makes no sense. I was off on 80%, 70% of their top prospects are pitchers.

  24. After reading more about 702 and shadow, I’m not sure how much they actually know.
    702 doesn’t know numbers and shadow isn’t even directly involved
    Also, why would Harpers friend be giving intel?
    Either way, the twitter account that actually broke the Padres signing of Machado the night before everyone else is the one staying Harper has told his people if the Padres can match Phillies, he’s going to SD.

    If Harper with SD, I’ll ban myself from this thread forever. (Not the site).

    Games start tomorrow I believe woo hoo

    1. Banning yourself from a thread about where Bryce Harper will sign after he signs is like giving up Chik-fIl-A on Sundays.

    2. Well, first of all, no matter where Harper signs, this thread will come to an end.

      And second, I always thought it was foolish to use commenters from another discussion thread, who claim to have inside info, and have curious names like shadow and 702 as valid sources. I never for a moment thought that shadow was doing anything more than pushing his own agenda. But that’s only my opinion.

      1. Jim – I was just playing of course about banning myself from this thread 🙂

        I’m siding with you on 702/shadow. As I read more of their posts, I became skeptical on how close they truly are to negotiations.

        Can you confirm/deny if Padres are a true threat?

  25. Just wondering; it is Mike Trout’s FA year and at the end, how long would it take him or his agent, to make a decision?

    1. Denny…..everything I have read…Moreno and his team want to wait until the Harper deal is completed and then measure their offer against the MM and BH deals and best them.

      Now after the 2020 season officially ends….I think 5 days, maybe 10?…. after the last WS game is completed with a Phillies win….then the bidding can begin for Trout.
      He cannot sign before the parade however since that will be 3/4 days after the last game.
      .

      1. Hahaha. Nice timeline.

        Just concerned about feeling that things are going to be easy like Machado to Phillies by winter meetings.

  26. Buster Olney (who is not a Boras mouthpiece) says that emotions may push the Phillies to sign Harper. By that I believe he means Middleton’s emotions.

  27. Only posting this because I believe that this account broke the Manny to SD news..or was one of the first before it was commonly known.

    This would be worst case scenario.

      1. Definitely a Boras leak. At best it’s a parameter for where they are in negotiations. At worst, it’s just Boras being Boras.

      2. Wouldn’t be shocked. He OBVIOUSLY doesn’t want to play in Philly. Might be time to move on or at least start the venting process now.

  28. There’s already a lot said about the Harper and Machado saga that reading them literally exhaust me.

    I have no doubt that Middleton is willing to open his wallet to acquire his supposedly preferred FA in Bryce Harper. I also believe that Middleton is willing to be that stupid to the tune of $350M/10 yrs to $400M/12-yr minimum and move on since Christmas break.

    My concern is that the duo of McPhail and Klentak is trying to moderate and convincing Middleton that Harper is not worth that much based on stats their analytics based player valuation. I believe that the $300M/10 yr contract signed by Machado is reasonable (it’s actually lower that I expected) and we know that Klentak said that they don’t value Machado that much.

    We keep saying that Boras is just being Boras but we all know that there’s no team who is willing to go way up north of $300M to acquire Harper considering most GMs now utilized the same analytics based approach that Klentak use to evaluate player’s value.

    IMO, McPhail and Klentak is also playing the waiting game like they did with Arrieta and don’t blink on paying Harper significantly higher than what Machado got from SD.

    I can still see Middleton forcing his way to the tune of $400M/12 years to sign Harper within the week.

    1. V1 – we are both agree on several points with this Harper thing . . . first and foremost that they will need to overpay to get him to Philly. My question is, if the over pay is 400m/10 years, do you walk away? Personally, I want Harper badly however I can understand walking away from 40m a year. Esp when you wouldn’t give 300m to the better player. Basically what i’m asking is, what would be your walk away point?

      1. At this point, they are all in. Failure to land either would be a massive PR disaster. I don’t know my walk away. Paying $100m more than Manny seems crazy to me. I have said before, I would have signed both players. I would have matched $300/10 on Manny (which is more money since lower state taxes in PA) and then gone after Harper. I doubt that SD goes past $350. So I get there quickly.

        1. Here’s what Todd Zolecki thinks (from the story I posted last night): “The Padres? It is almost impossible to believe they would follow up a record-setting deal with Machado with a second record-setting deal with Harper.”

          The Harper to Padres reporting is most likely a planted Scott Boras rumor to try to force the Phillies to up their offer/bid against themselves.

          I still believe Middleton gets the deal done with a front loaded 10 year offer between 310-330 million dollars. Anything close to 400 million would have to be a convoluted 12 year deal with opt ins and opt outs.

      2. @Eric – I agree that the Phillies may need to overpay, fortunately for the Phillies, no other teams are willing to overpay as well especially higher than $35M AAV.

        The Phillies will stand alone with a $350M/10 years but I think $400M/12 yr with multi opt outs will get it done.

        1. If the he 11th and 12th option years are a dealbreaker for Boras, THEN I would tell him to take a walk and walk away myself. 10/$350m is an overpay but one I would make in this case under the circumstances. More than since Pete Rose was wooed by Uncle Bill Giles (when the financial climate was other worldly), this is a fan driven situation that Middleton isn’t deaf to. MacKlentak? They need to pull their noses away from their pie charts and logorhythms, and listen to decade old TV and radio recordings of games with 45,000 plus roaming the concourses and Ashburn Alley. Not to mention the fact that Harper owns this ball park as a lefty power hitter and high OBP guy.

      3. The longer this goes on…the worse it is for Phillies. At this point, it is questionable if the Phillies are simply being used to get higher prices from desired locations.

        If it was as simple as the Phillies are the highest bidder, then it would have been done. There is obviously complexity to this.

        In Manny’s case, the WhiteSox had a higher total deal for Manny, but lower guaranteed. The last two years had to vest. Manny went with the lower total deal value but higher guaranteed value.

        My concern is that the Phillies are playing cute with opt-outs and another deal with more favorable opt outs could be more attractive.

        1. Agree with all of your points. I think we are being played . . . and think there are going to be a lot of disappointed fans very soon.

        2. Harper, like Machado (and almost every other FA to ever hit the open market) want the most guaranteed money. The Phillies should/will front load the deal to guarantee Harper the bulk of his money before he can opt out after probably the fifth year (my guess).

          1. You keep saying that which would mean that they haven’t offered the most money, or that Boras thinks another team can top them.

            1. I’m sure the Phillies have the biggest offer on the table. Boras still wants more. The Phillies don’t feel the need to bid against themselves.
              Same thing happened with JD Martinez last year. The BoSox were offering the most money. Boras wanted more. Boston just waited him out. Boras/Martinez eventually agreed to the Red Sox offer.

            2. I agree with Hinkie. Middleton will have the biggest offer to Harper and no other team are willing to commit >$350M for 1 player.

              I believe that Boras knows that the leash for the waiting game is getting shorter. Boras miscalculated last year with JD Martinez and Jake Arrieta. I think he learned a lesson there.

  29. I really believe that Middleton got cold feet on Machado over what he perceived to be the fan’s reaction. So, he let MacKlentak talk him out of him, using their statistical approach. Harper is a stands filler, merchandise seller, and Middleton’s preferred choice. So, he is not going to be talked out of him. And, he knows he needs one of them or the fan reaction will be very negative, to say the least. I think Middleton’s top range is the 9/$360 brought up month’s ago. I think our jim, here, was the first one I read mention that. I really believe that today’s “breaking news”, which says, first that we offered 10/$330, and second, that he would sign in SD if they match it, is BS on both points. I think that Boras is trying to get Middleton’s “best and final” offer, and this is going to be over soon. OTOH, I may be trying to talk myself into that, and although I have read thousands of posts on the subject, and certainly have seen it expressed that we get neither, I will still be pretty disappointed, if we don’t. Again, to put it mildly.

  30. in reality, none of us has any clue what is going to happen until it happens at this point.
    a number of people raise logical points for or against him coming to philly
    but since we are not in the room for the discussions, no one knows what is truth and what is propaganda
    all we can really do is wait and hope.

    1. sr, we only know what we hear from Boras’ pigeons. The Phillies are so tight lipped, they all must have blisters.

      1. LOL
        you have to give them credit
        they can keep a secret
        probably should have them running the NSA
        everyone in Washington politics cant keep their mouths shut for a second

  31. The end is near. I agree with Jon Morosi who predicted that the news will break tomorrow just before Machado and Lozano sit down for their introductory press conference. But in any case, with a beat reporter citing a source that confidence is high as talks ramp up, I will kick my feet up and relax that it’s all over but the signature.

    …and if it doesn’t, I will join Hinkie in a self imposed hiatus from posting here. Get out your Phillies banners, gear, and put a bottle of your favorite adult beverage in the fridge to chill.

    1. There is no reason for either of you to ban yourself. We are all fans and the point of this blog is to share opinions with imperfect information.

  32. Salisbury was just on WIP and here are some of the things he said…should be over soon, maybe early next week [I hope sooner!], Phils not going to $400 but KNOW they will have to beat Stanton’s $325 and will do so, Phils have a walk away number, and will consider Kimbrel AND Keuchel once this is over. Doesn’t know if there are any other bidders.

    He also said that Harper is fine with Philadelphia.

    1. The whole Harper hates Philly narrative is so lame. And while it may not be his preference (and who doesn’t like to be close to home?) I think he recognizes that he’ll thrive in this ball park and sees the team as a very formidable one, especially with JTR in the fold. Both Boras and other outside local media over play the idea he doesn’t like it here to further their own agenda.

      1. 8mark:
        Tom Seaver, on this day in 1974, signed the highest paid pitcher contract in the majors…by the Mets….$175K for the 1974 season.
        Bryce Harper will sign a contract soon, that will pay him that, plus a little more, for just one game.

  33. The thing nobody is talking about here is just how incredibly emotional and stupid it was for Middleton to say what he did, when he did, about spending stupid money. Everything you say and do is part of the negotiating process, and had they not just put it out there that they would get one of these two, and spend what it takes, they’d have better leverage in these negotiations. I’m sure Mr Middleton is a VERY smart man and a great businessman, but that was probably not his finest moment and one he wishes he could take back, regardless of the outcome. At the time, the city was abuzz with a Super Bowl title fresh in fans’ minds, a resurgent pro basketball team on the verge of greatness, a college basketball team just winning it’s second title in three years, and a new orange mascot capturing the love and affection of fans everywhere. He understandably had a moment of weakness due to the buzz around him and the pure lack of any kind of enthusiasm for a dull, imploding baseball team at the end of last season.

    1. Yeah he probably wished he could have re-phrased it a bit differently…..but when yo see the whole thing …and just not the stupid portion….it does have a different tone to it….but the press ran with the stupid portion..rather than the desire not to be completely stupid.

      “We’re going into this expecting to spend money,” Middleton told USA Today at the owners meetings (mid-Nov). “And maybe even be a little bit stupid about it. We just prefer not to be completely stupid.”

    2. I disagree with you for now. I don’t think Middleton said that based on impulse. From the time Middleton gain control of the decision making process, the FO has been planning for this offseason. All the FO actions in the past has been consistent with this thought process. The Phillies saved $$ since 2014 so they can start spending starting 2018 onwards.

      What Middleton said might be a PR disaster if it failed, but it is a smart play since it sets a tone to the other GMs that the Phillies will not be outbid. This is smart because the less the team is involved, the lower the player value will be. Machado’s $300M contract is lower that most are expected and it doesn’t necessarily mean that Middleton cannot match.

      Middleton may overpay for Harper, but the only reason why Harper will not become a Phillie it is because Boras and Harper overreached and priced themselves out and Middleton walks away and use the $300M to sign couple of FAs and save money for next year and go after Arenado, Sale and Cole.

  34. At the time, he was trying to invigorate a fan base that just witnessed an epic collapse. I don’t think it was dumb, at all. I think he put other owners on notice, and I think his words helped dissuade the Dodgers and Yankees from entering the fray, because that Stanton # was always going to be the threshold to go past. I don’t pretend to be Middleton, but “a little bit stupid” referenced, IMO, the Stanton contract. I believe he was letting the fans know that we are a big market team again.

  35. KK

    You are right on the money! Middleton’s “stupid money” comment was deliberate and intended to achieve the result which he obtained – – driving away potential bidders in the Harper sweepstakes by letting everyone involved know that he will not be outbid. He did not become a billionaire by accident.

    1. Like most any other stunt – if the Phillies sign Harper, it was pure genius risk taking, and if they don’t, it’s a sham of disgrace. It was neither smart nor stupid. It was an owner speaking as a fan.

    2. Actually, he became a billionaire by being his fathers son. That’s not to say he’s stupid, but he was born in third base. He was involved in some good decisions for his dad’s company, that bore fruit.

      By contrast, our Commander in Chief inherited $300 million (Bryce Harper money!) in 1969 or so. If he had simply bought the S&P 500, he would today have a net worth far far in excess of what he has today. Bottom line, i’d take Middleton. 😎

      1. I think that is a pretty unfair characterization of Middleton, and your President. I wasn’t born into money, but for those that are, just because you did, doesn’t mean your family business is gauranteed to survive with you at the helm. Say what you will, but I have the confidence in Middleton to get this done, whether born into money or not. What would you say the heir apparent for Blockbuster now? I can’t imagine that Middleton doesn’t know what is at stake here, and that his previous business experience wouldn’t help guide him through.

        Personally, I’ll saw his comments as masterful, and he is currently on track to accomplish signing Harper. A double blow to the Nats.

  36. Not sure who the “person” is in this article by Salisbury, but I suspect it’s the FO’s attempt at damage control just before Harper signs with Philly. There seems to be a lot of ill will directed toward BH lately for supposedly not wanting to come here, so what better way to temper that negativity than using a trusted local reporter to plant a story on their behalf. My take away from this is that Harper’s close to signing, but I could be wrong.

    https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/phillies/despite-rumors-bryce-harper-has-no-issue-playing-in-philly

  37. I believe Harper may have preferred LA, and maybe his Wife loved SF. I have a brother in law who lives there, and it is my favorite city to visit. None of which means he hates Philly. Boras wants to squeeze every dollar he can from us, and he can’t stand reading that Machado signed a “record breaking contract.” Boras wants to blow that deal out of the water. It may go to $350 Million. I don’t believe Middleton gets outbid.

  38. I believe Harper to philly is a done deal, boras is trying to bleed the stone dry for his client … and himself. I can say that if it has come down to 2 teams, I absolutely LOVE the Phillies chances to get Harpers signature. I can’t imagine Middleton telling Comcast that he let MM & BH go to the Padres, BH to SF, etc. This is shennigans at this point.

    If it doesn’t happen for some out of RF reason (see what I did there), I’ll be pretty annoyed, but I’ll have to give credit to the Phillies FO. They have played the game well, and I have faith they will find another way to get this team to where it needs to be . Sounds like we can all move on by early next week. Lets hope this is a franchise defining moment, and Harper lives up to his contract enough to get this team multiple championships. Negotiating the contract is the easy part, I hope harper understands he’ll need to produce like a beaten sales-mule- rep

  39. Tac3, if they fail to land Harper, how have they played the game well? They still don’t have that Playoff team. Yes, Klentak showed me he is a capable GM. The deals he has made, I feel, are from very good to terrific. Boston, last year, with the acquisition of JDM in March, played the game well. I am assuming that playing the game refers to the Harper/Machado chase, or any chase for the top level FAs, so I need them to be successful first. We still need to land Harper for it to have been an outstanding off season.

    1. “they still don’t have that playoff team”
      Says who?

      How many WS did the Os or Nats win in their 14 combined years with these so-called must-have generational talents?
      How many ALCS or NLCS games did they win?
      0 and 0.

      What huge, megastar did the Phillies add to their 2008 WS roster before or during the year? How about the Eagles in 2017?
      None and none.

      I get that BH & MM are great players but the ability to make or miss the playoffs is not exclusively defined by whether they sign one of these two guys.

      I like their roster as it is to be honest. I’d prefer another LHP, reliever or starter.
      I love the additions the FO has made this offseason.
      I’m very very excited for the progress I’m convinced so many of our young players will make this year! (And there’s more talent coming!)

  40. I am concerned that this whole FA process and the ridiculous contract numbers are just setting Harper and the team up for disaster. He will have a very hard time living up to that money and Philly fans will be mercilous if he fails and, God for bid, if he loafs to first or doesnt go hard after a ball in the outfield. The fans will hold him accountable for his contract numbers. I am starting to prefer the idea of two $17 million/yr players. I guess the insanity of the assumed contract has left me feeling “buyer’s remorse” before it ever happens. Besides, I would be really interested in seeing what Boras would do if the Phils dropped out of the bidding.

    1. That is a valid concern. I see it this way: if Philly fans want to have more championships, then they need to grow up and stop booing their star players. No player goes 100% all the time. A smart OF doesn’t run through walls. Baseball is a long 162-game season, plus ST, and hopefully the playoffs. Players throwing their bodies around with abandon to try to win a single game, other than WS, just really isn’t wise. Injury is an ever-present risk.

      1. C’mon Allentown do you really think that has anything to do with it. Do you know what David Price and some other stars had to endure in Boston, do you watch and see what the Yankees fans do to some of their players when they don’t perform LOL

        The Dodgers fans don’t boo anybody and they haven’t won a WS since I don’t know when.

        I’m not a boo bird when I’m down at the park but I don’t begrudge others who may want to voice their displeasure. So long as they aren’t crossing any lines with profanity and such.

        That said I have been known to heckle opposing players. I once gave Adam Dunn a bit of hard time when he was with the Nats out in RF. Two seasons later I met and hung out with him at is house in Chicago. The coolest most down to earth guy you’ll ever meet.

        My biggest surprise after about 12 beers he wanted to bum some smokes from my buddy’s wife.

  41. I find it worrisome that the Padres still haven’t ruled out Harper per Heyman. Ownership is meeting tomorrow to see if they can the numbers work.

      1. The most recent reports are saying that they are meeting tomorrow to discusss how they can get Harper into a Pads uniform. One thing I’ve learned thru all this, believe nothing you read on Twitter. I’d rather listen to Troll who has been the most accurate so far. I mean he called, of all teams, the Pads while everyone laughed at him.

        1. Do you really believe the Phillies couldn’t have/wouldn’t have outbid the Padres for Manny if Machado was the guy they really wanted. It’s been pretty apparent this team has been focused on Harper since their meeting in LV. The Phillies have been planning to buy a superstar this winter for at least two years now. Middleton is absolutely not going to be outbid by the Padres for Harper.

            1. Dennis Lin is the Padres reporter for the Athletic. This is a quote from his story Thursday: “Team sources Thursday reiterated that Harper is no longer a possibility. The free-agent outfielder is widely expected to land a deal north of $300 million. The Philadelphia Phillies, who boasted of “stupid money” early in the offseason, continue to be the favorites.” https://theathletic.com/831760/2019/02/21/the-padres-have-manny-machado-and-momentum-on-their-side-what-will-they-do-with-it/

              You guys may be listening to Scott Boras mouth pieces.

        2. There is no way the Phillies allow the Padres to outbid them for not just one but TWO players. Middleton would be absolutely mortified by the public outcry, both locally AND nationally.

          There is no way the Padres suddenly agree to set the TWO highest record professional sports contracts of $300 million plus within a week of each other.

          1. true, but if Boras tells the Phils there is another offer for 10/340 or so, the Phillies really cant verify that, so its a matter of topping that #, or calling Boras’ bluff, right?

            1. The Phillies can’t verify any rival offer until it’s accepted and published. Then Boras becomes a proven liar if in fact SD doesn’t. I get your point but there is no reason that the Phillies shouldn’t make it 10/$350m and let it fly. That satisfies their fanbase, merchandise outlets, Comcast, Boras’ itch to break records and gets Harper to camp in time so as not to fall behind the rest of the squad.

        3. Thanks, Eric. I look at trends. Padres were screaming mystery team. Low payroll and hunger to win.
          I’m worried about them for Harper but we will see what happens

          1. TrollU…..look at the current structure (below) with Manny now added.
            Now add a $34/35M AAV Harper to the mix……WITHOUT any truly experienced TOR pitchers…that incidentally win games to get to the play-offs and WS.

            Preller is not that stupid…..Boras is doing his thing…or Preller wants the Phillies to pay more by calling thier bluff.

            https://www.rosterresource.com/mlb-san-diego-padres-info/

            1. I’m not arguing that, I was simply thanking Eric for acknowledging my predictions weren’t too far fetched or laughable. I get where they are at in payroll but perhaps they look to sign Harper for the same reason we would; Marketing and face of the franchise. Money will come in to help alleviate the pain of that salary.
              An organization that is desperate to win may do desperate things. Not saying it’ll happen but it also won’t shock me one bit. I’m keeping an eye on them.
              I hope today’s the day the Phillies lock Harper up so all worries can go away.

            2. And their top prospects, the vast majority are pitchers.
              Listen I hope we sign him but I think it’s either gonna be a HUGE overpay. All I was saying is a lot of people laughed when he mentioned the Pads landing either . . . Well they landed the best FA on the market.

  42. The Machado numbers are in, no option years, no deferred $, 10/$30M. Now the stage is set to blow past that. 10/$350, and Phils are not deferred $ people, so no problem there. I would think it is just like Boras to announce right when Machado’s press conference is scheduled. $50Million more has a nice ring to it.

  43. ironically , adding harper is probably a bad baseball move for the padres.
    if he gets 35 million a yr, their payroll would be about 145( biggest in club history). they don’t have the budget to go to 200 so then they’re maxed and they probably have one of the worst starting pitching staffs in baseball with no budget to add to it
    even in trades, they would need to add payroll.
    I guess they could try to move meyes
    they’re better off using money longterm on pitching to add to their young core
    giants make no sense either. old team, aging stars, MB a free agent next yr, payroll over 220 with harper. no farm system. terrible hitters park

    philly really is the most logical place for him in every way
    team has the payroll without going into luxury task
    a solid if not as spectacular as we would hope, young core
    ability to add more pieces in the future due to lack of long term commitments
    farm system is still decent ( mid teens despite trades and graduations)
    great hitter park for LH power hitter
    friends on the team, ( Hoskins , JT)

    unless some team like padres, giants or nats are willing to do something that makes no baseball or fiscal sense, it seems eventually he signs with us

    1. sr….”if he gets 35 million a yr, their payroll would be about 145( biggest in club history).”…actually for 2019…..$171M
      …right now it stands at $136M without Harper.
      But the sheer lunacy of adding Harper also means Preller has to get rid of young corner OF prospects……Renfroe and Reyes for two……and would have to sell low.
      Their OF already is over-loaded and he is trying to cull it.

      1. Will Meyers would be the odd man out. They’ve already been rumored before the MM signing of wanting to move him.

        I’ll side with Dan O’Dowd who doesn’t believe either that they would tie up that much payroll in 2 players

        But….it behooves every club not in the hunt for BH to drive up the cost to the Phillies if they can because they will all be competing for the FA’s to come.

        1. DOD…also said earlier this week that it is crazy to have three players tie up 40% payroll of the 40 man roster.
          I do not think he was talking about the Padres, but in generalities.
          But having Harper and at $170M payroll, without even moving Myers yet and without any TOR pitchers would just make no sense
          Also Petco is smack in the middle of Park Factors, just below 1 on the factor level……..so pitching becomes a necessity for that team in their 81 home games..

          I suppose they can add Harper at 35M AAV….but how many years before they overtake the Dodgers or the Rockies without experienced top flight pitchers.

        2. If I were Preller…I would be going for Keuchel ilo of Harper.
          Keuchel is a high GB% pitcher and with Manny at third in that park…he would be a winning pitcher.

          1. If it were me Romus and I were the Padres I’d go all in. When you look around and you see what some of these vets are getting for contracts these days you can build around those contracts with some pretty nice players on the cheap.

            Plus their system is loaded up to a point where they can probably sustain themselves for quite a few years on the cheap.

            Of course I hope they don’t LOL

      2. agreed
        thanks for the payroll update
        makes even less sense because they would still be an 81win team max without adding pitching which they could afford even in a trade unless it was cost controlle pitching

  44. Doesn’t sound like the Nationals are expecting to bring Bryce back.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Phillies were always going to outbid the rest of MLB for one of the two superstar FA’s. IMO, they leaned Harper after MM’s “Johnny Hustle” comments. Harper became a priority after the LV meeting. Harper is still sitting out there. Boras is doing what he usually does (linking Harper to other teams to pressure the Phillies to up their offer). The Phillies (like the Red Sox in their pursuit of JD Martinez last year) are just waiting out Boras to land Harper at the most reasonable price they can get Harper for.

    1. I’m growing to distrust much of what Jon Heyman has to say because it’s becoming more apparent that he’s a parrot for Boras, as are a few other outlets. There are SO MANY now that for every report there is a contradictory report. Outlets are struggling to find anything relevant that they will post anything that grabs attention and social media-ites. Fake news abounds. I have to stop and ask myself, okay what makes sense here? Better off sticking with what’s reasonable vs sensational.

  45. Just got a text from my best friend ho lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. We grew up together and used to go to Phillie-Giants games together, he a HUGE Giant fan and me an equally HUGE Phillies phan.

    Here are his exact words in regards to the Giants and Harper. Now he obviously doesn’t get texts from Zaidi daily letting him know what the Giants are up to but he follows the Giants as closely as we here on this site [and especially this thread] follow the Phillies.

    This is what he said minutes ago…”Don’t worry, Giants will not come close to the Phillies offer.Plus, no way he wants to come to a rebuild and hit in our park. He’ll be a Phillie. Boras is just squeezing the Phillies for every red cent.”

    So there is that from the Bay Area. Boras is still trying to do Boras things. I have insisted from the beginning that he was NOT going to take less than $325 and I still believe the number will be closer to $400 million than $300 million when its all said and done. And this will continue to be maddening until its not anymore, still could be a tough weekend for us as Salisbury said this won’t be done till next week.

    But, while the possibility that Lerner, Zaidi or Preller may still have a change of heart in the next few days, here is where we stand right now….White Sox, publicly said they are out on Harper, Nats, publicly said they haven’t heard from Boras in months and that very public criticism last Sunday in the Wash. Post would be hard to walk back, Padres beat writers said Pads are out and NEVER made an offer to Harper.

    I still think the Giants are hovering in the “maybe we can make this work” arena and I expect Heyman will be talking about the Giants in the next day or two since they appear to be the only one left but Zaidi is a disciple of Friedman’s Dodgers and they abhor long term deals so…it appears the musical chairs game is slowly eliminating its chairs and the Phils simply need to keep walking around what looks like one chair left.

  46. My friend also told me something else that is quite interesting and that has not been mentioned yet. He said that in the Bay Area the view is that Larry Baer, the Giants President, is merely listening to Boras because MLB fears that someday Boras may become part of the collusion argument and possible lawsuit against teams and so it is advantageous to the owners if they appear “in” on players when they really aren’t.

    He said that this isn’t a league wide owner decision per se but more of a general unspoken but they all know about it thing. Would sure explain comments like Lerner’s…”haven’t heard from Boras in months, we have moved on…BUT the door is still slightly open.”

    Boras was one of the biggest advocates for MLB collusion accusations back in 1987 and I believe the owners are very conscious of this and don’t want to go through it again.

    Interesting take and one that makes sense.

  47. Still won’t count Padres until the Padres officially bow out. Padres are meeting today to discuss and they were even asked about it.

    Needle is still pointing to Philly but I think we shouldn’t count out the Padres.

  48. my biggest concern is some team , padres, giants etc doing something that makes no baseball or fiscal sense . just a wildcard variable
    a few yrs ago the padres spent like a drunken sailor and then had to sell off because team still sucked.
    kuechal this yr and cole next yr makes more sense for padres

  49. I think it is more evident that the Phils are leery of bidding against themselves. I believe it will take between $330 Million and $350 Million to close the deal. I have no idea where we are, or where we stopped because we think we are the only bidder. But if it is $20 Million holding it up, I would rather have Harper in camp for the extra month,

  50. I’m hoping the approach has been , atleast at some point , is ” boras, what number gets this done” and if that number is only 1-2 million more per yr ( the cost of a 6th inning reliever), do it so we can get him into camp

  51. According to sources, Harper is headed to Philly on a 12-year, $400 million contract with multiple opt-out clauses (after years 4 and 7), a mutual option for years 10 through 12 and, as Hinkie predicted, tons of up-front money. Job well done Klentak!

      1. Okay, I can’t let this go on any longer – the source is Jussie Smollett. This has been going on too long with too much speculation, I couldn’t help myself. That said, the actual contract definitely could resemble what I just described.

        1. You got me good.
          Soon this thread will end and baseball begins again.
          And,
          Phils up 2-1 bottom of the third…go Cole.

          1. Yeah, because, basically, I never troll. But the posts here have been going on for so long and have become so tedious and the situation had become so intolerable that I felt a good gag was in order.

    1. if so….finally!
      ….$33M AAV…but front loaded…..rather have after 5 for the opt-out, but if he comes so be it….if the team is winning titles he probably will stay.

  52. So what happens if Philly’s highest offer is less than Boras promised Harper (like 8 years/$270) and nobody else’s bid is close to that. What happens then? Does Harper keep holding out until the season starts? Could that be the scenario we are now experiencing?

    1. Harper would not be smart to sit out. If he doesn’t like the long term deals, he will take some sort of pillow contract and will be paid handsomely for that privilege. At least $30 m most likely and perhaps a little more. He either gets his big deal or he does a short term contract, has a monster year and gets his big deal next year.

      1. Now – how long could he wait it out through ST? Probably until the last week or so in a worst case scenario. I think one way or another he will sign with, at minimum, 7-10 days left in ST and probably closer to 2 weeks, at the latest. If he waits longer he might not be ready to start the season, which wouldn’t be good for him.

    2. No. The offer won’t be any less than 10/$300 and more than likely considerably higher. Remember the original offer was 9/$360.

      1. What are you talking about? I suppose it’s possible, and maybe even credible, but you talk as if you know that (the alleged 9 year/$360 M “offer”). You don’t.

        1. And I suspect he hasn’t received an AAV offer thus far with that many years. If he had, he would have signed already especially since at least half the marketplace (perhaps more than half) thinks he’s not as good as the guy who go 10/$300 m.

          1. If the Phillies can prove in their offer that they can:
            1. Best Manny’s total contract amount and its AAV
            2. Best Stantons’ total contract amount and its AAV
            3. Best Trout’s current AAV on his extension ($34.1M)

            …that should be enough to placate Harper…..just not sure about Boras however.

        2. What am I talking about? It’s already “out there” that he won’t accept any short term deals. You love that pillow contract. He would not have waited THIS FREAKIN’ LONG if we was going to settle for that.

          1. What? There was a rumor about a 9 year/$360 m. Where’s your real proof of that? I’m pretty sure he would take that. It’s a huge, huge number in terms of AAV.

            The only thing that’s more concrete than that was the rejected, deferred Nationals offer of 10 years and $300 m.

            1. And, by the way, I didn’t say he would take a pillow deal. I said he’d take it before he held out. He has to play this year. It would be stupid for him to hold out.

            2. Harper told Boras to make it happen with LAD back before the winter meetings. That was when Boras advised Harper to take it. Since then the offer was removed from the table once the Phillies realized that they need not go that high. So, this is all really Harper’s issue from the get go because he presumed upon a market that wasn’t ever there, and still isn’t.

    3. I would hope Middleton is at least offering more than Manny’s total contract’s worth.
      IMO, I’d offer more than Stanton’s total also…..keeping in the back of my mind, I could be in the same position with Hoskins in a few years and keep some semblance of goodwill with Boras.

      1. Unless Hoskins has Mark McGwire-type years, he won’t command anywhere close to that kind of money because: (a) he is not perceived to have the type of talent and upside that Harper has; (b) he plays a much less critical defensive position; and (c) he will be hitting free agency when he is much older and thus will have many fewer prime performance years ahead of him. As much as I like him and as good as he is, Hoskins would be in a completely different type of free agent category than Harper.

        1. Understand all that…….but with Boras as his agent…he will not quite be there to understand that in 3/4 years.
          That is not how Boras operates in his logic.

          Hoskins if he is hitting 35/40 HRs a year and is at either 4 or 5 WAR seasons….things change drastically.
          And it probably would behoove Middelton now to grease those wheels now in goodwill.
          Now Hoskins could be traded by then so it is a moot point.

          1. I don’t think you really ever buy goodwill with Boras, nor should he do that. Also, Hoskins is worth what he’s worth – there’s only so far he can push that. But is a Boras client more likely to hit FA than a non-Boras guy? Absolutely. If Hoskins plays well, odds are that he goes to free agency. But damn, that’s 5 years away.

            1. Hoskins isn’t a FA for 5 YEARS!!! How on earth can you predict what will happen with him and the team over that period of time? Good God, the guy has only played one season and he’s a centerpiece of the team right now and you’re already predicting a trade to avoid free agent issues? You are getting so far ahead of yourself.

            2. No I’m not. That’s what we do here, for crying out loud. 1B is not a premium position. Boras is Hoskins’ agent. The Phillies payroll over the next 5 years will very likely be sizable without him being extended. What’s so outlandish about doing the math?

            3. Yeah, okay, I mean, you can talk about it, but, man oh man, the prediction of Rhys Hoskins being traded to avoid free agency when his career has barely started and a million things can change in the interim seems wildly premature to me.

            4. Actually Hoskins arb 2 year is going into the 2022 season…four years down the road..and that is when the Phillies could try to extend him and when they could be butting heads with Boras.
              And coincidentally that will be the first year of the new CBA.
              So trading Hoskins going into his age30 season may be on the table if Boras is reluctant to an extension.

              But to say that is ‘five years away’….is the old way of thinking.
              Middleton specifically said back in October 2015 when he hired Klentak….he wants his guys to think five years down the road.

            5. I said something similar in a post a few days ago. I don’t think Hoskin gets an extension or gets his years bought out (unless it’s extremely team friendly). And I think they either trade him or let him walk when the time comes. He’ll be replaceable.

  53. Shadow says this could be wrapped up bu Wednesday
    702 says Shadow is close
    But there are rumblings that Harper just flew to SD

    This is a circus LOL

  54. I heard he just flew to Clearwater. He wouldn’t fly to either SD or Philadelphia had he signed with anyone. Think first.

      1. If you dont have anything productive to reply with instead of sarcasm, why dont you go comment on the other discussions?

        1. Well the Padres spring training site is only about 350 miles from San Dego in Peoria AZ…..so he could be going into SD where their FO guys are now….probably a
          hour and half or less puddle hop by air.

  55. Also seeing that a “credible source” is stating that Harper and Padres are set to meet in Arizona.

    again – lets not discount the Padres.

    Of course Jim Bowden is going to say 0% because remember- he pretty much guarantees a Phillies Harper marriage

    1. Actually, it was Bob Nightengale who said “bank it” Harper would be a Phillie. Bowden is the most accurate Scott Boras reporter.
      Listen … ‘it ain’t gonna happen’. The Padres are not a threat to the Phillies for Bryce Harper.

      1. I know Bob said Bank on it but Bowden was the most recent one to pretty much guarantee Harper signing with Phillies.

        I am allowed to give my reasons on why Padres are a threat.

        I actually predicted SD would sign a top dog and all I got were rude comments in return.

        Like I said earlier, my needle points to Harper signing with Philly but I think we still need to worry about the Padres.

        1. It’s true, you did say SDP’s could sign Manny. Congrats on that. However, you also predicted Machado to the NYY’s ,CWS, and (I think) the LAD.
          I’m not trying to muzzle you, and your opinion(s). I’m just letting you know that the SD Padres are no threat to outbid John Middleton for Bryce Harper. I think you’re getting your info from John Heyman.

          Heyman has a long history of acting as a Scott Boras’ shill. Look at the tweet (from this time last year) I posted earlier in this thread. I’ll re-post it here.

          1. I’ve posted a long list of reports and tweets trying to show you the Padres are no threat for Harper. Here’s the latest.

            If you want to still worry about the Padres, have fun. Most of us (with the possible exception of Eric D) aren’t going to give them a second thought.

            1. I usually agree with you but you usually try to muzzle people if they dont share your opinions.

              either way, hopefully we find out soon so this thread can end and we can focus on current players and prospects.

            2. Troll … sorry if it comes across as me trying to muzzle you. I don’t mean to do that. It’s more me trying to educate you. Don’t let Heyman/Boras fool you.
              Anyway … we’ll all be celebrating Harper to the Phillies soon.

          2. What I found very interesting….Nats owner Mark Lerner said they had not talked to Boras in months…..so it must have been in December…..so where did all those ‘Harper back to the Nats’ headlines emanate from in Jan and Feb?
            Boras and Heyman must have a linkage for propaganda going on…is that even ethical?

            1. Collusion is Boras’ annual claim against the owners.
              But what he is doing by leaking false info thru a conduit like Heyman….could also be misrepresentation or as he may say an innocent misstatement, but I would Think unethical to obtain additional compensation on fraudulent statements.
              also the writer’s and their employers should also be held liable for this ‘misinformation’ being made public.

  56. Klentak needs to be bold. Forget Harper.. he doesn’t want to be here
    Bohm, Hasley. Medina, Hoskins, Moniak, Herrera, for Trout and Pujols.

      1. This is the second username you’ve used this week and 6th since you’ve been commenting on Phuture Phillies. If you use any name other than this one, you will be permanently blocked.

      1. Wrong
        Win the WORLD SERIES! LOL

        BTW Bowden just said we are still heavy favorites and dealing with Boras is like going to the dentist to get 12 teeth pulled but they slowly wiggle each one

  57. For an outstanding read, check out Thomas Boswell’s piece just posted this afternoon by the Washington Post. Guy is very astute and pretty much nails the Boras/Harper situation on the money. He could have returned to the Nats for roughly the same money he may very well get from the Phillies, if he acted way back before they realized that there was no market but the Phillies. (Hinkie, please post the link when you find it? Thanks)

  58. I find this whole thing disturbing. Why would any team be a “mystery” team. The White Sox were reportedly heavily involved in the Manny race. I’ll bet that the White Sox sold 100,000 tickets based on those reports, and they didn’t have to spend any money.
    Let’s take a far fetched scenario. The D’backs fans are a little pissed off at management right now. If the front office had been actively pursuing Manny or Bryce, they would have regained some of their fan support. They would be outbid (as they expected), but would have convinced people that they’re serious about winning. It just doesn’t make financial sense to remain a mystery team to your own fans.

  59. I don’t understand why the Phillies don’t play the Boras game with him. Give him a take it or leave it deal. Tell him it’s this or were walking. If the Phillies walk the Harper market dies and he loses 75-100 mil or has to sign short term deal. At this point the Phillies are getting played. Their offer is being shipped and if a west coast team or Nats match it then he’s gone. Let’s play some hardball with this jerk Boras.

    1. We do not know what the Phillies value on MM and BH is, what they have oferred. We do know Klentak said that 10/300 was above the Phillies value for MM. Do the Phillies value BH higher or lower than MM? Perhaps they are not budging from an offer that is under what Machado signed for, in other words Boras might have messed up big time, by not being the first to sign. If so congratulations to Dan Lozano

  60. It’s happening.

    1. That is huge. Tells me it’s wrapping up especially with the local beat guy reporting. Bring him home, Johnny! Big weekend to celebrate. What a team this will be!!

  61. Only Middleton went…is he finishing this thing off? Or damage control for Klentak screwing something up lol

  62. Hinkie you’re fast…..I was just going to post that. I believe the end is near. This is most positive development to date. No better place to announce the signing of the biggest contract in baseball history then Vegas.

  63. Jon Heyman
    @JonHeyman
    ·
    46s
    While Philly appears to be in strong position, word is there is no deal yet with Bryce, and no expectation he will be returning east with Phillies owner John Middleton. “Just a meeting,” is the official word. SF, SD, Wash, maybe 1 more still in the game to varying degrees.

  64. He would not of flown there for just a “meeting”. The times of meetings is over. He is there to finish this thing off, bottom line. Heyman is clueless and just a puppet and really has no clue what is going on. He is absolutely the worst.

  65. It’s Friday night. Middleton by himself with Boras and Harper tells me that on Saturday he’s not returning to Clearwater alone with his pilot. Heyman is giving us Boras’ spin on the affair. At 9:55 PM eastern time, perhaps a deal isn’t official. But by 9:55 AM, after an all nighter, cigars all around!

  66. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that a deal between Harper and the Phillies will not be reached Friday night “barring something completely unexpected.” Passan called the situation a “meet-and-greet” between Harper and Middleton.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, didn’t they already meet ?

  67. Dan Federico
    @DanJFederico
    Hearing Bryce Harper to Philly is nearing the finish line. Money ended up being the deciding factor. Phillies will turn their attention to pitching next
    9:27 PM · Feb 22, 2019 · Twitter for iPhone
    77
    Retweets
    152
    Likes

    Dan Federico
    @DanJFederico
    ·
    50m
    Replying to
    @DanJFederico
    Don’t be surprised if this deal ends up for 10 years and around $350 million
    8
    21
    58

    Dan Federico
    @DanJFederico
    ·
    43m
    Word is the signing could be announced as early as tomorrow with a press conference taking place Monday
    13
    17
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    Dan Federico
    @DanJFederico
    ·
    40m
    Just an FYI, this is speculation on one of my source’s part, not a definite date of a signing and press conference
    7
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    Dan Federico
    @DanJFederico
    ·
    3m
    Time for the disclaimer I like to put out for my new followers: I’m not in the business of fabricating. If I’m wrong, pie in my face and I’ll completely own up to it. But I’m just reporting what I’m told. Always have, always will

  68. Why would Middleton have the plane with the Phillies P on the tail sitting conspicuously on a tarmac in Vegas if he (or Boras) was concerned about how it would generate unnecessary buzz if nothing was going down?

    Tac3 and Wawa – what have you uncovered? And don’t tell us you’re not out and about😉

    1. Bob Nightengale on Twitter says,

      “The biggest question no longer seems to be whether Bryce Harper will ultimately sign with the Philadelphia #Phillies, but just how big of a check John Middleton will be writing.”

      1. From other Twitter chatter that seems to be consistent, I get the sense that at least $350m is definitely on the table, or will be if it’s not already.

        1. 8mark…..like i posted yesterday…I think it must meet three requirements for Boras’ acceptance:
          1. Best Manny’s tot.contract amt and its AAV…….the AAV critical feature
          2. Best Stantons’ tot. contract amt and its AAV….total amount the critical feature
          3. Best Trout’s current AAV on his extension ($34.1M)..

          So apparently 10@$350M would seem to be the estimated guess.

          1. they really are set up well for next 5 yrs of so position wise if they get harper signed :

            c JTR – will need extention
            1b Hoskins- free agent after 2023
            2b Hernandez, let him walk after this yr and replace with Kingery ( save money there)
            ss seguira- hopefully replaced with Garcia at end of contract
            3b franco- hopefully replaced cheaply by brohn after 2020
            lf/cf some combination over next few yrs of mcutch,quinn, Herrera, haseley
            rf harper

            save money after this yr by replacing neishtak, hunter, nicasio with edgar Garcia, arano, ramos, del santos, VV ( maybe)

            will need to get a TOR starter to go with Nola
            should have farm system depth to fill back end of rotation at low cost ( no need to go and get 7-8 million dollar 4th starters)

            pursue trout after 2020 if available

            1. sr….if Hsrper in RF….Williams probably is gone in a trade…add a few young prospect pitching pieces to the trade, and you get the LHP TOR…a 2, or 3 if Arrieta takes the 2nd slot.

  69. I envision this opening day lineup:
    Segura ss
    Realmuto c
    Harper rf
    Hoskins 1b
    McCutchen lf
    Herrera cf
    Franco 3b
    Nola p
    Hernandez 2b

    Bench: Quinn, Kingery, Listi, backup C

    1. 8mark….you continue to envision Cesar at the bottom…..I really do not think Kap shares that same vision.

      1. Romus, after the first time through the lineup, it will be exactly like having Cesar leading off. It’s a matter of maximizing the top bats in the lineup for more ABs.

        1. 8mark…I understand the logic….but will Kapler agree to it?
          He had Cesar lead off 144 games last year, games he started…he had him hit in the ninth hole 7 times, but only started TWO games in the 9-hole, total of 11 PAs….and most of that was after Cesar broke his foot.
          So will see what he does.

    2. love that lineup
      can rotate Herrera and mccutch depending whos hot
      I like herandez in 9 spot. will leadoff lots of innings
      can draw his walks, get on base, no need to steal
      more base runners for JTR, harper
      segura is good at hitting to right and right center behind hernandez

    3. gabe will certainly have some good options. I kind of like Cutch in the two spot with his high OBP and Realmuto maybe offering Hoskins a little more protection in the 5 spot.

  70. Looks like our boys are in the driver’s seat….again…to sign Harper.
    Glad that it may be over soon and BH can get on to playing baseball.
    In the perfect BryceWorld, he’d sign on the WCoast, preferably LA.
    Even more, the Angels. This way he’d only have to play against
    the Nationals every three years and if the scheduling worked out,
    he’d only have to play in DC once every six years. The ONLY reason
    he’s been holding out this long to sign with the Phillies is because
    he absolutely hates the idea of playing against his old team so often.

    1. Completely disagree. Sorry but that narrative is so tired. He had his opportunity to re-sign with WAS and decided to move on. Period.

  71. Washington, if the reports are true, offered him 300 over 10 years with a lot
    of money deferred. No way he and Boras were taking that. So you are wrong,
    sir, to say he had his chance to go back there.

  72. Making your final offer face to face is a classy move. Even if they don’t get him, it’s hard to fault Middleton’s effort

      1. Right now, there is no signed contract. It is not a deal until its signed, despite your insistence to the contrary .Deals of that magnitude fall apart at the last minute for a multitude of reasons , most of which are known only to the parties. The people who actually know the terms being discussed are not at liberty to say. Every thing else is speculation

    1. I reckon if you start this whole shenanigan with a comment about “stupid money”, there comes a time where you have to define it in $$$$$$. In other words, this is “stupid money” and this is “tooooooooooooooo much”!

  73. Man, is Boras (via Heyman) ever laying it on thick this morning with tweets to Phillies fans, that we shouldn’t be getting upset with supposed mystery teams (remember we got Cliff Lee as a mystery team?) while suggesting that we do have cause to be excited about the prospect of signing Harper. The guy is relentless.

    1. He’s trollin Phillies fans because they’ve been mocking him on twitter. Using his avatar and making fake tweets. Can’t say I don’t blame the guy. It’s kind of funny from both sides.

      Do I think he’s wrong about mystery team? No. Until Harper is signed, the idea of a mystery isn’t a moot point by any means.

      Strange we haven’t heard anything from last nights meeting. Also weird how it was called a meet and greet. WTf was last months meeting about then LOL

    2. …actually the nuance of the tweet is that he’s (Heyman, right) never seen a fanbase so crazed over acquiring a star player – definitely a plug by Boras to further pressure Middleton to up the offer.

  74. Interested to see when this deal goes down.
    There’s a guy on twitter @danjfrederico who has some solid credibility with breaking deals and having reliable sources. He heard it could be announced today with a presser Monday.
    Not holding my breath.

    Also heard on SIRIUS MLB NETWORK that some think the Padres aren’t truly out of it.

    We will see.

      1. Ok? Just summarizing just in case someone doesn’t want to scroll.

        I’ve provided way more info than you have. Go back to your mothers basement.

        1. I was only mentioning that for anyone who wanted to scroll up. Your comment was totally inappropriate, oversensitive and childish. Look in the mirror, Skippy. Who are you trying to impress?

    1. had a thought of Middletons jet flying low over Lincoln Financial Field during the Flyers game tonight, then a picture of Harper, with Middleton, in the plane, wearing a Phils hat up on the scoreboard, would be a cool way to break the news.

      1. When Johnny Cigars does his Lincoln Financial Field Flyover, I hope he’s not in “the missing man” formation!😎

  75. Padres chairman Ron Fowler and general partner Peter Seidler revealed they reached an agreement after having a two-hour lunch with Machado, resulting in a record-setting 10-year, $300 million deal.
    “I’m proud to be a Padre,” Machado said. “At the end of the day this is where I wanted to be, and I’m very happy to be here.”

    …what was interesting from all the hoopla from San Diego yesterday….that Dan Lozano was hardly mentioned or seen around but briefly.
    Scott Boras will be close to front and center when the Harper announcement ever gets made.
    He will have his say I am sure.

    1. Should be interesting. Seems like this is more Boras holding things up.
      Bowdens comment about teeth being pulled and dealing with Boras seems spot on

      1. How about a real estate analogy. Real estate takes place in a free market, value is determined by what willing buyers and sellers agree to.those agreements are usually crafted by comparable sales similar property, about the same time. There now is a very “good comp” for a Harper transaction 10/300. If Harper was a house he would not appraise at 10/350. Who knows. I am just saying

    2. This has gone on so long I’ve gone from anticipation to expectation to boredom. Maybe we should go back to debating Franco’s arm-bar swing, or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin….

    1. I also wanted to report something else Bowden said last night on CBS. Among the reasons Harper likes the idea of signing with the Phillies (besides the stupid money) is the idea of playing with Mike Trout in a couple of years. Had to mention that even at the risk of exhausting some of you or sucking the all the oxygen out of the rest of the thread.

        1. Maybe when you get a few minutes, you can post your ground rules. This way I’ll have a better understanding of what’s OK and what’s not OK for me to post.
          Thanks in advance.

          1. That’s it. Just don’t post the exact same point 30 times in the same thread. Try to ask, is this new information? or am I repeating a point I already made? If new, then post. If exact same point, then edit yourself.

            1. Agree w v1. The repetitive posts are a waste and get kinda annoying readying the same thing over and over again. I’ll blame it on boras tho.

            2. So … you mean if I have an opinion of … let’s say for example … (and this is not my opinion) … Mickey Moniak is a “bust” … I should only mention it once … and not repeat it multiples over the course of a year and a half ?
              Because if I did that, some of us might find it exhausting.
              I guess it just depends on your point of view.
              Anyway … thanks again for making sure my posts don’t annoy everyone and suck the oxygen out of these threads.
              Just a reminder … my avatar is pretty easy to spot. Feel free to skip my posts if they tend to annoy you.

            3. Hard to just skip your posts because you post every 2-4 posts.

              As for Moniak, I have backed up what I am saying. I rarely talk about him anymore. In the general chat I gave a game recap which included my views on his two at bats. But again, that is new information. New season. Two ABs in spring training for a top 10 prospect is new information tha is relevant. You should follow my direction on how to edit yourself. If there is a change in the situation with Harper then great, post your thoughts. But saying the same thing over and over is annoying.

            4. 1. Jim has opened this thread specifically for Harper comments. So I/we should follow your wishes/rules over Jim’s ?

              2. C’mon. You’ve been a one trick pony when it comes to Mickey. You’ve led a campaign with your many posts (including an essay) over the past year and a half to label him a “bust” before the kid has even hit the legal drinking age. Mickey’s father is a semi-regular here. Do you think he may feel exhausted or annoyed with your Mickey posts? Do you think he may feel they suck the oxygen out of these threads when you start your Mickey bashing?
              I understand it’s your opinion that Mickey is not a good player. You’re entitled to it. However, what you may see as you posting “new information” on Mickey, I may see as you continuing your same old assault on Mickey.

              Do you feel bothered that I call you out on it? Do you feel I have no right to censor you? Do feel I’m stepping out of my lane to tell you what’s OK for you to post and what’s not OK for you to post? If your answer is “yes”, then you finally understand how I feel.

              3. Your original complaint (last week) was that I was “exhausting” you with too many Mike Trout posts. The funny thing is, over the past 20 months, I have posted as much (probably even more) about Jakob Hernandez. I have constantly referred to him as “The Hefty Lefty” and “Jake the Cake” among other pet names. No one (except for Jim, once in a while) even mentions jaKe other than me. Yet, you’ve never counseled me on posting too much on Hernandez.
              The truth of the matter is you never complained publicly about my Trout posts until I disagreed with your idea that the Phillies should sign both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, and then worry about Mike Trout if he becomes available in two years. There are just six players (Harper will become #7) in all of MLB who cost their current team 30+ million AAV. No club employs more than one. your idea that the Phillies could sign two now, and then have no problem adding a third after 2020 was unrealistic IMO.

              I don’t want to constantly be butting heads with you, but I don’t want to have to be double, triple, or even quadruple checking my posts to make sure they pass the v1 white glove test before hitting the send button either. I’ve seen your twitter page, and believe it or not … you and I have nearly identical views on things outside of baseball. You seem like a good dude. I can tell you’re an intelligent guy. I just don’t appreciate you instructing me to “follow your direction on how to edit myself” when posting.

            5. 1. It is a free country. You can post whatever you want. If you want to post 36 times on the same thread with zero new information, then go for it.

              2. You completely mis-represent my views of Moniak. Re-read my post. https://phuturephillies.com/2017/08/03/mickey-moniak-and-the-70-hit-tool/

              I did not call him a bust at all. I just said we should all lower our expectations because he is not a star. I comped him to Odubel, a 3 WAR player. That is not an insult in any way.

              I know Mr. Moniak likes to read this blog and I apologize if I offend him with my constructive critique of his son. It is obviously a dream for all of us to have a son drafted #1 overall in a major sport. What a wonderful life accomplishment. But his son is a professional athlete that got paid $6m to sign a contract. He should know by now that that opens him up to constructive criticism. I critique Mickey’s baseball skills, never him as a person, which by all accounts he is a wonderful human. The topic of debate on this blog is whether a specific prospect has the baseball skills to become an impact major leaguer. If that upsets someone, then they shouldn’t read the blog. But I never would bash the kid and I hope that he proves my concerns wrong and becomes a star. The bar to becoming an impact major leaguer is extremely high. We should be able to openly question whether a prospect can get over that bar without being called out, so long as we are constructive and data supported.

              Yesterday, I shared an update on his performance in a game. He had 2 at bats. Saw 5 pitches and swung at all 5. Missed 3. Fouled back 1 and hit a can of corn to opposite field on another. That is a concern not be cause he was 0-2 in one meaningless spring training game. It is a concern because he swung at all 5 pitches that he faced. He didn’t show any approach or plan at the plate. Is that offensive to say? I don’t think so. The guys in the booth calling the game said the same thing. I think it was Kruk or Ben Davis, said he has swung at every pitch that was thrown. I don’t see why that is being mean to someone. Hitting a baseball is extremely hard. Probably the hardest thing to do in sports. And if you swing at bad pitches and don’t make the pitcher work, it is even harder.

              3. My complaint is about you posting the same thing over and over. It has nothing to do with Trout or Harper. It has to do with the search for fresh information. I could care less whether you disagree with me about signing all 3 mega stars. that’s totally cool. your comments on that are interesting because they are unique and supported by data. Awesome. Keep pushing back on me. No offense taken.

      1. Forget Harper. Just attended Phillues game in ST Dylan Cozens just stroked 2 hard hit doubles. He is our star!

          1. Denny…..Dylan has finally choked up …..almost 2 inches…..hope he can keep up the stroke.
            And also he has lost lots of pounds it looks…matter fact plenty of guys must have taken Kap’s suggestions to heart.

            1. He did lose some pounds. Last year he bulked up for power but that didn’t work but I think this year will be a lot different.

          2. This team just upgraded so much over the winter. Once Harper signs there will be literally no room for Cozens. Not that he’s ever done anything to prove he can play at the highest level, so it’s really not a big deal. He should be an after thought at this point. Maybe we can get some international money for him but I doubt he brings much back.

            1. Just saying that if we don’t get Harper he should be in conversation due to the likes of Herrera, Williams, Quinn and Altherr vying for 2 OF positions. Not the Big Red Machine in front of him.

              If Harper signs then he can go to LHV show it and be ready to fill a need if there is a necessity.

          3. Denny…..Jon Runyon, former Eagle OT, once told us, the NFL is a business made up of 30 different companies….if you cannot get promoted in the company you are in, put your resume out there, by yuor play on the field, and try to get one that wants you.
            Same logic applies to your friend Dylan…turns 25 in May..now is the time….perhaps he should have his agent speak to Klentak or Bryan Minniti about keeping an eye out on an opportunity with a team that may need what he provides. A third year in LHV may not be what he wants at this point.
            The other option…let it play out this summer at LHV….come November , if he is not protected he becomes a minor league free agent and can negotiate with whomever he wants….Zach Green did it this year and went to the Giants.
            So it will be up to him.

  76. I think Cozens needs to go to AAA and have a great season. He won’t progress at all sitting on the bench. I know Denny is family, and I wish him well, but he needs to show he can make more contact, cut way down on Ks and make himself valuable as a bench bat come September. I am counting on John Middleton to close this deal with Harper. My faith has been in him all along, so I am with sr, ” bring home the prize, Johnny!”

    1. My fam member Dylan is holding his hands higher and is concentrating on making contact. His first double was on a 2 strike pitcher.

      Like I say. Mike Schmidt always said he tried to hit hard and straight and if was a homer then it was.

      1. Okay why did it take so long for you to say he’s family? If that’s true I’ll leave you be but we understood what you meant the first time you said he “might be the guy” – you don’t have to say it 9 times.

    1. Cozens might be the guy. Knapp is 2nd catcher, can’t use him at other position unless we have another multiposition catcher on roster. Maybd McBride. Hit HR today.

  77. Nightengale says Johnny still in Vegas yet the plane is now in West Palm beach. Bob also thinks agreement by Monday

    Heyman says other teams still in it

    1. UTroll – sounds like Middleton is going to drag boras across the finish line. Middleton is literally speeding this process up. He told boras to get the other offers on the table so he can win this.m bid. He is not messing around.

      Sounds like it was as close to a take it or leave it offer as you can. If he leaves Vegas without eliminating these mystery teams, I can see him withdrawing his offer.

      Middleton is about to roll Boras

      1. Sure seems like it.
        As soon as Nightengale said takes were deep and serious, Heyman chimes in.
        It’s close one way or another

  78. My new favorite guy to follow on twitter is Dave Samson (the former president of the Marlins). Look how he calls out John Heyman for being Scott Boras’ unofficial hype machine.

  79. Watch your language with each other. I just blocked a reader for the following, “… Go back to your mothers basement”. There are better ways to disagree than to resort to this type pf comment. The block will last until Harper signs wit anyone.

    1. Blocked him for good? Or just the tweet? Didn’t think it was THAT bad, I mean Troll gets attacked on here fairly regularly.
      Sounds like this will be wrapped up by Monday. Welcome to Philly Mr Harper.

      1. Hernández
      2. Segura
      3. JTR
      4. Harper
      5. Hoskins
      6. McCutchen
      7. Franco
      8. Herrera

      Sounds good to me.

      1. I’m not certain what is going on. Here is Matt Breen’s latest.

  80. If Middleton left without a deal after flying there for one on one meeting, I’m concerned but have no idea who else is offering up that money. Logic says he’s coming to philly but my gut feeling now is he is not.

  81. … meanwhile, Phillies fans are doing everything they can to let Harper know what we want. These signs are becoming an epidemic around the area.

  82. “Optimism” Phillies, Bryce Harper Will Finalize 10-Year Deal By Monday
    February 23rd, 2019 at 9:55pm CST • By Connor Byrne
    9:55pm: Harper’s camp actually negotiated with two teams in Las Vegas on Saturday, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. It’s not clear who was vying against the Phillies, though, nor is it known whether the other club made any progress in talks.

    9:41pm: Middleton is still in Vegas, and there’s “optimism” the Phillies and Harper will finalize a 10-year deal by Monday afternoon, Nightengale reports.

    9:19pm: Middleton’s plane is returning to the East Coast, but the two sides had a “busy day of meetings” and talks will continue, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philly tweets.

    8:39pm: The Phillies are engaged in “deep and serious negotiations” with free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Team owner John Middleton, who’s meeting with Harper’s camp in Las Vegas, doesn’t want to leave without a deal in place, according to Nightengale.

    1. Middleton will sign Harper and will fly back to Clearwater on Harper’s private jet. After the signing he can afford a big one.

      1. Denny, hate to say this but there’s a possibility that not only doesn’t Dylan go north with the big club, Harper may wind up with Dylan’s number 25 (2+5) for Mickey Mantle’s #7, his dad’s favorite player.

  83. We are all virtual strangers interacting on this site. Our one common denominator is interest in the Phillies and baseball in general. It’s primarily an outlet for some of us while a source of information and informed opinion for others. And both for many like me. What it’s not, nor should be, is a competition to see who can out-argue, out-inform, and certainly not out-insult the other guy. Nor is this a race to see who provides more “information”. Nobody is an expert nor is anyone qualified to be an insider. This should be a fun exercise in exchanging our views, even with diverse personalities, sarcasm and humor. It’s not personal because again, we are otherwise strangers. Nonetheless, thick skin is a good defense.

    I’m not a psychiatrist and have neither the time nor inclination to try and figure out what makes each of us tick. But the incessant fake news, National Enquirer-type “updates” can stop anytime, along with the reactionary “snaps” to critical comments. By critical, I don’t mean malicious or personal attacks.

    I value Phuture Phillies for what it provides, and it’s free. If my sarcasm or attempts at humor are offensive or simply not funny, I apologize. Nobody knows me any better than I know them. The ground is level around here.

    And finally, GO PHILLIES, GO JOHNNY CIGARS AND LET’S BRING HOME OUR VERY LATE CHRISTMAS PRESENT!

    1. 8mark…spot on.
      Over the years, things have sometimes have got a little dicey between the posters.
      So your post, for the most part, should sum up what every poster should adhere to.
      I know the one thing Jim hates to do, and should not be expected to do…is to have to be a referee.

      1. 8mark…well put, especially the reference to The National Enquirer, which is what I believe is driving Jim crazy. It certainly seems it has gotten away from information and opinions, like them or not, to who can retweet information from some unreliable source. My list is short…Salisbury, Gelb, Zolecki, probably Bowden and now Hinkie’s new found friend Sampson as to who I’ll listen to now. It is true no one here is a professional, but many of you, in my opinion, are probably closer to the truth than the national guys…and Heyman is a CLOWN and belongs in the circus. He should be ashamed of himself.

        1. Sadly agree on Heyman too. Up until recently I respected his connectivity but realize he’s little more than a Boras puppet, always with qualifying assertions that the Phillies aren’t the only team in on Harper. Maddening.

          1. Hah Jon Heyman…remember when Pat the Bat, of all people, tried to do him in in a bar 7 years ago before Kevin Millar stepped in to break it up.?
            Jon Heyman

            @JonHeyman
            thanks @KMilar15 @MRTeevs & caiafa for interceding when pat burrell tried to fight me in bar. PTB did curse/push Teevs

            2:08 PM – Oct 28, 2012

          2. I remember when he broke the Cliff Lee news and how cool that was and how it felt to finally shove it to the Yankees. People thought he was crazy, but he was the only one on it. It’s been a deep drop for him.

            I wanted to piggyback on a comment posted by Wawa Mike a few days back. I want the Phils to sign Harper and he has been my choice all along. If there is a mystery team and it’s the Giants, and Harper passes up years and $$$ because that’s what he wants, it’ll be easier to swallow than him returning to Washington. That would be way worse than having both of them on teams that won’t be a factor anytime soon. I don’t think that will happen. My belief is he’ll end up with the Phils. Boras is having fun now, stringing along a billionaire owner, bleeding him for every penny. It’s what he lives for.

            I hope this ends soon so I can get back to campaigning and following my new favorite player, Rodolpho Duran…ridiculous bat speed!

            1. I realize a players signing isn’t a signafiant moment in the grand scheme of things but i’ll always remember the night Cliff Lee signed w us. If I recall correctly it was at like 1030-11pm when news broke. Mlbtraderumors had the mystery team and then “Phillies to sign Cliff Lee”. I stayed up all night listening to the radio about it. Was almost late for academy (police) the next day bc I wanted to keep listening. Haha. Good time at.

          3. And when someone was wondering why Heyman didn’t join others at The Athletic, like Rosenthal, Stark, Gelb, etal, I can now see why. There is apparently a level of accountability there that is above him.

            1. 8mark….well there is claim out there that Heyman is the richest of all the baseball writers and did not need to join The Athletic’s staff.

        2. 8mark – In their rush to be the “First” to break the news, these so-called sportswriters have become bitches for the likes of Scott Boras.

  84. I agree wholeheartedly. I only start to pay attention when the “beat” writers say something . The rest is static

    1. I’ve been a union man for most of my life, and Bryce Harper deserves every penny that he can get. However, the “dog and pony” show has been going on for 4 months, and I’m sick of it. Be it here, or elsewhere, let’s end this now.

  85. I remember when he broke the Cliff Lee news and how crazy everyone thought he was. He was the only one on it. It’s been a deep drop for him.
    Boras is having fun now, leading around a billionaire owner, bleeding him for every penny he can. He lives for this stuff.
    I still think he will end up with the Phils and he has been my choice all along. I would like to get back to campaigning and following my new favorite player, Rodolpho Duran…ridiculous bat speed

  86. If we do sign Harper – is there any concern that we over spend and limit our FA purse the next few years? I think we are a playoff team if we trade for a starter at the deadline and sign Harper. But I am thinking how do we beat the big boys – Astros, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Yankees for the “Ship.” I hope the young guys step up at 3rd (Bohm/Franco) and 2nd (Kingery/H) and we have a true No 2. Isn’t there a statistic that no team or very few teams have ever won without a left handed starter?. I just believe things are lining up well and want to make sure the FO put the finishing touches on to win the championship over the next 3-years. Don’t want to overpay with our prospects either – you start to get attached to them and you want them to succeed here!

    1. If our offseason is segura, McCutchen, Roberson, JTR, and Harper, I’ll trust the front office to make the necessary in season additions. They’ll have earned my trust.

      1. I agree the FO has earned most of my trust back. Just concerned Middleton overrides them on this one and handcuffs them.

  87. For those not believing in Middleton, from my viewpoint, he just made a very shrewd business move. He is basically calling boras buff, and doing his job for him. This meeting was to see where they stand. (PhillieS) And to get all the mystery teams into the light: Middleton wanted to speed up the process boras is trying to drag out. Middleton said “blank that, show me your mystery teams so I know what to top” as he wants proof he is not bidding against himself and thus a deal is expected to be completed by Monday afternoon

    Bravo Mr Middleton, well played.

  88. Tac3…I think you are correct, very good observation. I think what Middleton did was brilliant and I was telling a Phillie friend of mine from Philadelphia last night that if Middleton corrals Harper he will be a hero in the city and if he doesn’t I think most phans will applaud the effort.

    Also, a solid case can be made [and it pains me to admit this] that Boras played this equally well. He has literally so invigorated an of late oft times lethargic phan base to such a fever pitch that first responders are painting “sign Harper” designs on grassy knolls. While this can be maddening, it also has made Harper such an almost mythical charector in Philadelphia and, truth be told, almost everywhere else that if/when he signs he will have increased the value of the franchise merely by writing his name on a contract. Incredible.

    Us long timers remember the Lance Parrish hoopla and of course Jim Thome was pretty big also but I cannot ever recall this much drama, to the extent that normally calm and sane people are tracking plane flights over Louisiana! My wife couldn’t care less about sports but even she has been reading about this on Facebook.

    I know I appreciate this site very much and I for one have enjoyed this back and forth banter for the past couple of weeks and thank Jim in advance for allowing it to continue. Afterall, we all know it will end soon [probably this week] and we will either celebrate each other for our brilliance or commiserate in our sadness at not only losing Harper…but the esteemed Hinkie for six months since I have no doubt he will honor his declaration of self banishment for 6 months.

    And one more thing…all these rumors,fake news, supposedly sourced info are precisely the atmosphere that Boras wants to create, he is a master of it. Does anyone doubt he will get that 10/350 that he stated from the beginning he wanted [highest total, highest AAV]? I sure don’t. Not only that but most will celebrate it while breathing a sigh of relief…some of the same people who earlier were as apt to insist it would never happen.

    I probably won’t have anything else to say till its over, whats left to say except Go Phillies, but wanted to thank everyone who has contributed to this fascinating thread…I feel like I know all of you now even though I am 3000 miles away.

  89. Cal-D — I want to thank you for your exhaustive analysis of Boras and this journey, such as it is. Several things do come to mind and you touch on one – Lance Parish, what a total disappointment and its still a mystery how he literally forgot how to play baseball when he became a Phillie ? I said to a Phillies fan yesterday, “remember how we were so fired up to get Parish?” That didn’t turn out too well – maybe if you wish too hard — you sometimes get what you want and find out it is not what you think !!! While I am not suggesting Harper falls into that category – you reminded me of that past “wish” that collapsed.

    Much like Wawamike above – I am becoming worn out by this ridiculous situation. Somewhere it says – make up your mind. I absolutely applaud Middleton’s efforts but cannot fathom a situation where this Harper deal collapses. And, at this point, if it does – it just was not meant to be. I – perhaps like others – have begun to look elsewhere for amusement.
    Finally – thanks to you again, and to Hinkie with his “cut/paste its”, and to 8mark who has done a yeomen job of helping all wade through this swamp. To Jim – thank you as always.

  90. Buster Olney from this morning.

    In October, this is exactly what I was told (and posted here) was John Middleton’s plan for 2021. I can’t guarantee (like I’ve done with the Phillies getting one of BH/MM) that Mike Trout will hit the open market in two years. However, I can confidently say the Phillies are planning for that possibility.

    Here is John Middleton from a couple of years ago. He explains the Phillies idea of “the process”, of team planning for the future, of setting goals and milestones.

    It’s now an open secret throughout MLB the Phillies are targeting Mike Trout. Jim Bowden even mentioned (two nights ago) that playing with Trout is one of the things Bryce Harper finds appealing about the Phillies.

  91. I think Middleton has played this perfectly but we’re also a little lucky that other teams stepped out but is was partially because they believe Middleton will beat their offer. Well played sir!! Let’s get this done. I think the deal will be for less than everyone thinks. I think 10/$310 or 10/$330 is very possible with maybe a joint option in year 11. I want this done and then I want Kimbrel for a 3 year deal. We would have a championship caliber bullpen then. Don’t settle, let’s go for it all. I can live without Keuchel, I don’t see a big upside there.

  92. So if the Phils sign Harper, and Cozens hits 450 this spring and looks like the real deal, where does he play?

    1. The latter is a problem you don’t have to worry about. As much as I’m pulling for Cozens, he will have a very hard time being a MLB regular.

    2. The realization….probably on another team.
      Unless Klentak is able to trade or DFA two of these three players…Altherr,, Quinn or Williams.

      1. My guess is they keep him. Would be a great problem to have. Here is why:

        From rumblings I’ve heard on the radio, Cozens is a potential 1B backup. Let’s say he gets 25 starts there.

        The OF could go to a 4 man rotation. With Cozens spelling Harper (10-15 games)Herrera (20)& McCutchen another 20-25. Give him the DH games … thts another 12 there, and add in the pinch hit at bats

        That should hold him over till next year, when … the NL could have a DH. Last resort would be to trade Herrera for another piece.

        Denny, can Dylan play 3rd? 🙂
        They will figure it out, but if he comes on this year, they’ll fit him in

        1. I like your suggestions on his versatility but I don’t know about 3B. But you know I wouldn’t be one that said he can’t do it. Remember Bugs Bunny.

          1. Back-up first baseman….25 games!
            Have you checked Hoskins games started the last 3 years?
            At LKW/CLW…it was 135
            In Reading again, it was 135 of 142
            2017…..Hoskins was in 165 games with close to 700 PAs between Phillies and LHV.
            Last year as a LFer and part-time 1st baseman…..153 games.

            Hoskins will see a minimum 150 plus games unless he is injured.
            The back-up first baseman may get into a dozen if he is lucky.

            1. I’m assuming 4 man bench is
              Knapp, Kingery, Quinn, Williams barring a trade with Franco playing occasional first with Kingery at 3rd
              In all likelihood,at least 1 outfielder is traded

          2. Uh – I’m pretty comfortable concluding Cozens can’t play third base at the big league level.

            Anyway, let me reply to Denny.

            Denny, my man, if you have a personal tie to Dylan – good for you. Root like hell – you don’t need to be objective but plugging him here and saying the same thing again and again isn’t helping matters and don’t expect everyone to always agree with you.

            As for my view of Cozens – he still has a chance to become a major league player – he’s just about to turn 25 so the clock hasn’t run out just yet.

            He is a good athlete, draws his fair share of walks and has legit 70 raw power. BUT his platoon splits are horrible. If he can’t learn to fight off lefty pitching and be at least passable the odds will be against him. In the old days he could be a platoon guy but there are very few platoon players anymore because teams carry so many relievers. Relievers also mean that by the time he hits the 5th inning or so if he can’t hit lefties he’s going to face one LOOGY after the next. These are the real issues he will face – if he can rake against big league righties and hit say .220 against lefties with walks and power then he’s got a shot, otherwise – it will be hard for him.

        2. Tac3….I guess you can do that on a fantasy team…but Cozens deserves the opportunity to be a regular and not a back up first baseman….or a 4th/5th OFer….and where are Quinn, Altherr and Williams in the equation?
          All wanting to be regulars also….with Altherr and Wiliams having been regulars in the past few years.
          He really needs regular ABs at the major league level and I do not see a GM denying him that opportunity.

          1. Just saying; you are using the comparison of Mr. Injury Quinn Medicine man, Mr. .178 Altherr and Mr. 1/2 year starter Williams. What is so outlandish that Dylan Cozens cannot be in or even slightly ahead of this equation?

            1. Ok…..say Harper is signed.
              He goes to RF….Cutch to LF.
              Now comes the CF position….Herrera is slotted there right now, unless traded.

              So it comes down to the 4th/5th.
              And you outlind the three players and their inadequacies…however Williams with almost 800 PAs over two season and 29 HRs with an ISO of almost .160 is not too shabby of a metric.
              So who do you really think Kapler has faith in for the remainder of the OF positions?
              He will have to sell the manager.

            2. Understand completely hopefully his versatility for all OF spots and if he can get some time at first may put him over the top.

          2. 3rd base was tongue in cheek, but the rest should be doable. He has played CF before correct?

            I think he could start between 80-100 games between the OF,1st, and DH. Not crazy to me, especially since this team prides itself on versatility. First, Dylan has to do his part. Would be nice to see.

  93. I assume Williams will be traded if they sign harper.
    minor from texas or ray from Arizona in some type of trade is possible

  94. Are Cozens and Williams starting to show their potential. Perhaps, they are and perhaps, spending $300m on Harper will not give the Phillies that much more.
    Either way it is a risk. Let’s not pretend it isn’t.

    1. No and probably not after 3 ST games. You don’t NOT sign Harper holding your breath for 2 inferior talents.

  95. Never heard of Adam Lefkoe of Bleacher Reports but he’s tweeting Harper’s deal is between 8-10 years at $335m. According to him, a Wednesday press conference is scheduled. We’ll see if there is any validity to that report.

  96. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported the Los Angeles Dodgers have worked their way “back in the mix” for Harper, with manager Dave Roberts among a contingent who went to Las Vegas on Saturday to meet with the free-agent slugger.

    Is this ever going to end ???

    I’m to the point that we should just move on instead of continuing to plan this insane game. Middleton will be a hero wether he gets him or not cause he has put his best foot forward & now it’s time to stop this nonsense.

    1. I don’t move on but I also don’t do any more. Say you’re sitting at 9/$330 with vesting options that can make that $10/$360 and opt outs built in somewhere along the course of the contract after year 5 you’ve done all you can do.

      If someone else beats that or he takes less to stay on the West Coast oh well.

  97. The only way I’ll be mad as a fan @ Middleton is if Harper signs elsewhere and we find out that the Phillies wouldn’t beat the Machado contract. That’s what they were talking about on the Mike Missanelli show. That would be a tough pill to swallow after all that “stupid money” talk.

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