January 23, 2019
The only people watching free agency closer than Phillies fans, this offseason, are the Phillies players.
Rhys Hoskins, who shares an agent with Bryce Harper and has emerged as a clubhouse and on-field leader for the up and coming Phils may or may not have more information than most people do, so take his following quote about Harper and Manny Machado's continued deliberation over where to sign as an intriguing take on what may lie ahead.
"I have a gut feeling that we'll get one of them," Hoskins said Tuesday. "I don't know where that comes from, maybe some of the comments throughout the offseason but I am excited for the offseason to end so we'll know, and that means baseball has started."
Put another way, Hoskins wants this to get over with too.
"It's been fun to follow just because it seems like nobody has any clue whats going to happen. It's exciting, it should be exciting for the game as well. These are two generational talents really good at what they do. … obviously we hope that at least one of them ends up here. It's hard to not get excited."
Philadelphia's manager Gabe Kapler thinks competition-wise, adding one of the two still available superstars could be necessary for a division title. He says the NL East is stacked.
"I think everyone recognizes we have a much improved roster but that we could have an additional tool to go after the teams in the NL East," Kapler said. "It's clearly one of the better divisions in baseball now and to compete in it we need as many tools as possible."
Regardless of whether the team does net a Harper or Machado, the always glass-half-full Hoskins realizes that the simple fact that they are so deep into talks with both of them is a big boost for the morale of a club that blew a first place lead late last summer after showing so much promise and potential.
"Adding a name like one of these two guys adds a little more credibility to what we've done already this offseason and maybe some fear within the division," Hoskins said, "but I think most importantly it has the confidence instilled in us by the front office that we're ready to win."
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