SportsPulse: Now that Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have signed we can finally look ahead to actual baseball. Here are the storylines that will define the MLB in 2019.
Bryce Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies. He’s going to be in Philadelphia for a virtual eternity. There are young children who will someday be his teammates. But in the meantime, Harper has his sights set on forming a superteam in Philadelphia.
That would include longtime Philadelphia sports fan and baseball wondergod Mike Trout.
Trout won’t be a free agent until after the 2020 season, but it’s clear Harper is interested in recruiting the Angels star to Philadelphia. He admitted as much in an interview Tuesday on 94WIP with Jon Marks and Ike Reese.
Harper said he would let Mike Trout be Mike Trout during the season, but come 2020, it’s go time for the recruitment.
“I think that’s one thing about this contract that I’m able to do,” Harper told the radio show. “Having 13 years in a place, I’m able to help recruit guys to this organization … For me, I can be able to talk to Trout or whoever it is — big-name free agent or whoever — who wants to come to Philly or thinking about coming to Philly…
“And I don’t think John’s scared to go out and get the best guys that we need to have. I think it’s respecting Mike Trout in a certain way during the season and letting him play and do the things he needs to do to of course to be Mike Trout. But if you don’t think I’m not gonna call Mike Trout in 2020 to have him come to Philly, you’re crazy.”
TROUT ON THE CLOCK: Mike Trout is happy for Bryce Harper. Now he’s on the clock.
Phillies fans will love to hear those kinds of remarks coming from their new superstar, but the Angels (and the league office) may have a different take.
Baseball’s tampering rules are full of oddly worded jargon, but basically, Harper isn’t supposed to talk about Mike Trout changing teams (even in a hypothetical sense) until Trout is no longer under contract with the Angels.
Last year, the Yankees’ Aaron Judge received a strongly worded letter from the league for his comments about Manny Machado looking “good in pinstripes.” Former Red Sox star David Ortiz also found himself in hot water for his 2016 comments about Edwin Encarnacion and the late Jose Fernandez.
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Basically, if he’s not your teammate, don’t talk about him potentially being your teammate. That’s a good rule to live by.