Bryce Harper

What did Jayson Werth say to impending free agent Bryce Harper about Philadelphia?

What did Jayson Werth say to impending free agent Bryce Harper about Philadelphia?

Looks like it was a good idea to cheer Jayson Werth this weekend, Phillies fans.

The veteran outfielder, who left the Phils for a big-money contract with the rival Nationals, had bad blood with fans after his departure. With the feud behind him, Werth returned to Citizens Bank Park this weekend for the reunion of the 2008 World Series champions to a great ovation.

While talking to reporters Sunday, Werth was asked what he would say to former Washington teammate Bryce Harper — a former NL MVP and impending free agent — about Philadelphia if the young outfielder asked.

"I think he already has asked me about Philadelphia,'' Werth said.

And?!

"Isn't that tampering?'' he said with a laugh.

"It’s a great place to hit,” Werth added. “I’ve always loved hitting here. I’ve shared that among other things about this place. He’s a dynamic player for sure."

It’s kind of interesting that Harper asked the former Phillie about what it was like playing in Philly. Perhaps it was a general question that Harper asked Werth ahead of one the Nats’ series at CBP. Or maybe Harper asked Werth with his future free agency in mind.

Of course, a former Phil was asked a similar question not that long ago. Chase Utley was asked what he would say to new Dodger Manny Machado — also a free agent after the season — about Philadelphia.

"If you want to play in front of great fans that want to win in a beautiful ballpark, as long as you can deal with the humidity, go for it," Utley said.

Harper, a six-time All-Star, has had a down year, hitting just .231. He’s still managed to slug 26 homers and lead the NL with 88 walks. At 25, he’s just entering his prime. 

The Phillies have plenty of money to spend and look like a team on the rise. Imagine adding a young, exciting player like Harper into the mix. Imagine adding Harper and Machado. 

In reality, Machado probably makes more sense. The former Oriole wants to play shortstop, a position Matt Klentak was forced to upgrade with veteran Asdrubal Cabrera. Also, the Phillies outfield looks suddenly deep with Rhys Hoskins and Odubel Herrera and also the emergence of Nick Williams and more recently Roman Quinn. 

Expect stiff competition for Harper and Machado’s services. The Nationals will surely attempt to keep Harper and big market teams like the Yankees, Cubs and Dodgers will also be among suitors for both All-Stars.

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Phillies 2018 MLB trade deadline rumor tracker

Phillies 2018 MLB trade deadline rumor tracker

Welcome to MLB trade deadline day and for the first time in seven years, the Phillies figure to be buyers.

The Phillies are 58-48 and despite losing four straight games, they have a 1/2-game lead over the Braves in the NL East.

Having already acquired Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mets, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak is still seeking upgrades at the trade deadline.

On Monday night, Jim Salisbury reported the Phillies have continued to monitor the starting pitching and outfield/bench market (see story). Some names Salisbury mentioned: Rangers LHP Mike Minor, Orioles OF Adam Jones and Blue Jays OF Curtis Granderson.

Corey Seidman broke down some other potential options here.

Stay with us as we round up all the Phillies trade rumors before the 4 p.m. deadline.

Bryce Harper

Have the Nationals thrown in the towel? Perhaps. The Nationals are 5 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the NL East and Harper will be a free agent this winter.

According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, the Nationals have made former NL MVP and six-time All-Star available. From Feinsand:

"According to a source, the Nationals have let it be known that All-Star Bryce Harper is indeed available via trade, setting up what could be a wild race for the superstar with the 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline just hours away.

To be clear, this by no means indicates that the Nationals are committed to trading Harper today, though their willingness to listen to offers is a clear indication that general manager Mike Rizzo could become a major seller in the final hours leading up to the Deadline."

For what it's worth — probably not much — Fancred's Jon Heyman tweeted: 

Before we get carried away, it would take a king's ransom to acquire Harper. The Phillies chased Manny Machado before the Orioles traded him to the Dodgers, but Klentak made it clear the rental market isn't where he likes to shop (see story).

The Phillies have long desired Machado and there has been speculation that they'll chase both Machado and Harper this winter. If there is any credence to that, it would make sense for the Phillies to at least gauge Harper's availability today.

With all that said, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has already dismissed those rumors — not that he'd be the first general manager to say he wasn't trading a guy right before trading a guy.

But let's not get our hopes up. Harper to the Phillies, at least today, seems like a very enjoyable pipe dream.

Andrew McCutchen

Per MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi, the Phillies are one of three teams that have "varying levels of interest" in acquiring McCutchen from the Giants.

This one could actually make sense for the Phillies for a couple reasons (see story).

For one, the Phillies were interested in Jones but the Orioles outfielder wasn't ready to waive his no-trade rights. McCutchen does not have those rights. Both are in the final year of their contracts.

And secondly, while Nick Williams' emergence has shifted the Phillies' deadline needs, they still very much need a fourth outfielder.

McCutchen isn't the player he was when he won the NL MVP in 2013 and made five All-Star teams from 2011-2015, but he's a veteran bat who would be an instant upgrade to the Phillies' outfield and bench.

He would provide Phillies manager Gabe Kapler a potential platoon option with Odubel Herrera in center field and a right-handed bat off the bench with some pop.

McCutchen's 2018 stat line: .258/.352/.407, 10 home runs, 43 RBI and 24 doubles. He's played just right field with the Giants but spent the majority of his career in center.

Jake Diekman

Diekman, now 31, has a 3.69 ERA this season, with 37 scoreless outings in his 47 appearances. The former Phillie has reverse platoon splits this season. Lefties have hit .273 with a .429 OBP against Diekman this season while righties have hit .190.

Diekman is a free agent after the season.

Jose Bautista

Bautista, who was released earlier this season by the Braves, would an interesting fit as a fourth outfielder. He shouldn't cost much as far prospects and he isn't owed much for the rest of the season. The Mets already helped the Phillies out by sending over infielder Asdrubal Cabrera for prospect Franklyn Kilome, but will they help them again?

The 37-year-old hit just .143 with the Braves, but has been a little better with the Mets, hitting .233/.382/.421 with six homers and 24 RBI in 159 at-bats. He'd add some pop and is good at making pitchers work, something the Phillies value.

Wilson Ramos

The Phillies acquired Ramos from the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Corey Seidman has what the acquisition of Ramos means for the Phillies here.

Aaron Loup

The Phillies acquired Loup from the Toronto Blue Jays for prospect Jacob Waguespack. Here's more on Loup.

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Phillies allow 7 homers as club thrashed by Nationals

Phillies allow 7 homers as club thrashed by Nationals

BOX SCORE

The Phillies absorbed a hellacious beating at the hands of the Washington Nationals on Friday night. The Nats ambushed starter Nick Pivetta for seven runs in the first two innings, ran out to an 11-run lead and powered their way to a 17-7 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

The weather was steamy — hittin’ weather as Charlie Manuel used to say — and the Nationals did a lot of that against Pivetta and Hector Neris. The Nats hit a pair of two-run homers in the first inning (Trea Turner and Juan Soto) and a three-run homer (Anthony Rendon) in the second against Pivetta, who lasted just 1 2/3 innings.

The Nats got another homer — a three-run shot — from Bryce Harper in the fourth inning in building an 11-0 lead. The homer, against Yacksel Rios, was Harper’s NL-leading 20th.

Things got ugly in the ninth inning when Neris gave up three home runs and was serenaded by boos after finally getting the third out.

The Nats hit seven homers in the game. Entering the game, they had hit just 12 in the entire month of June.

The loss left the Phillies at 43-37. They are a game better than Washington (42-38) in the NL East standings. Atlanta leads the division.

June was considered to be a tough test for the Phillies. Friday night’s loss means the Phils will not finish the month with a winning record. They are 12-14 with one game to play in the month. It still has been a solid month for the Phillies with series wins over the Rockies, Brewers, Cardinals and Nationals last week. With two games left against the Nats this weekend, there is still time to win this series, but the Phils will need better starting pitching from Vince Velasquez and Jake Arrieta.

Pivetta fell to 4-7 with the loss and his ERA swelled from 4.06 to 4.71 in 17 starts.

The 25-year-old right-hander opened the season as one of the team’s bright spots. He went 4-2 with a 3.23 ERA in his first 10 starts. Since then, he is 0-5 with a 7.09 ERA in seven starts.

Despite being down 11-0, the Phillies battled back and managed to at least make the game interesting with a 10-hit attack that included home runs from Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery and Carlos Santana.

Hoskins has homered in three straight games, giving him 14 on the season and eight since coming off the disabled 19 games ago. He has 22 RBIs over that span.

Hoskins’ home run in the fifth inning against Washington starter Erick Fedde was pretty impressive. It came on a full-count splitter on the 14th pitch of the at-bat and after Hoskins had fouled off seven straight pitches. Hoskins fouled off eight pitches in all in the at-bat.

That was about the extent of the Phillies' highlights on a forgettable night.

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