If you thought Bryce Harper's hint at Mike Trout in his introductory news conference Saturday was interesting ...
Let's just say Bryce might have said a bit too much this time.
On 94WIP with Jon Marks and Ike Reese Tuesday afternoon, Harper left no doubt that he will be heavily recruiting Trout and any other free agent who wants to help the Phillies win.
"That's one thing about this contract that I'm able to do. Having 13 years in one place, I can help recruit guys to this organization," Harper said.
For me, I can be able to talk to Trout or whoever it is, big-name free agent thinking about coming to Philly. I can say, 'Hey, this is the place to be. This is where the fans are great, ownership understands it, our manager is awesome.' I can really put that faith in myself and being able to say we're gonna go about it the right way, we're the Philadelphia Phillies and we want whoever wants to come to Philly. If you don't wanna come to Philly, then don't come, don't be a part of it. But if you want to be a part of a winning team, a winning culture, then we're gonna need the best players to do that and I don't think John (Middleton)'s scared to go out and get the best guys that we need to have.
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 be Mike Trout, but if you don't think I'm gonna call Mike Trout in 2020 to have him come to Philly, you're crazy.
Phillies fans will love that exuberance. Angels fans won't. Trout is a free agent after 2020, and the Phillies will have financial flexibility moving forward, as outlined here. The Harper contract, at $25.38 million per year, really won't prevent them from pursuing top names going forward.
While the Angels and the league might not appreciate Harper's being so direct, he probably knew the message he was sending by saying it.