Rhys Hoskins isn’t sure if the Phillies will get Manny Machado or Bryce Harper.
“I have a gut feeling that we’ll get one of them,” he said Tuesday.
Hoskins said he had no inside information on the Phillies’ pursuit of the game’s two mega free agents. He was basing his opinion of what he’s read and heard. He’s following this thing closely. The Phillies have improved their roster with the additions of Jean Segura, Andrew McCutchen and David Robertson this winter. Getting a Machado or a Harper could help vault the Phillies into legitimate contender’s status.
“It’s been fun to follow,” Hoskins said of the free-agent derby. “It seems like everybody has no clue what’s going to happen. It’s exciting. It should be exciting for the game itself because these are two generational talents. They’re exciting players and the game needs exciting players like that.
“Obviously, we hope that one of them, at least one of them, ends up here. It’s hard not to get excited because we feel like we’ve already gotten better on the field and in the clubhouse.
“Adding a name like one of these two guys would add more credibility to what we’ve already done this offseason and maybe some fear within the division. It’s exciting to be in the conversation. It gives us confidence that the front office believes we’re ready to contend for a championship. I don’t think if they didn’t think that that we would be thrown in these conversations.”
Though he shares an agent (Scott Boras) with Harper, Hoskins said he does not know what the slugging outfielder is thinking. Phillies officials have visited with Harper in his hometown of Las Vegas. They’ve also hosted Machado at Citizens Bank Park and it is known that they have made an offer to the power-hitting infielder. It is not known if the Phillies have made an offer to Harper.
Hoskins was asked what he would say if he had to make a 20-second sales pitch to either Harper or Machado.
“Great fans, great ballpark to hit in, and I’ve said this about Philadelphia as a city — you walk around this city and it’s not overwhelming. It’s not a big city. It’s not New York. You talk to people, have random conversations with people, and it doesn’t feel like you’re talking to a stranger. It feels a little more like family here and that’s pretty special,” he said.
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