February 28, 2019
[UPDATE: 3 p.m.] It happened. The Phillies landed their white whale.
According to several confirmed reports, the Phillies have inked Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $330 million contract. Read more about the deal right here, or scroll all the way down to follow the reaction across social media in real time.
At last for the moment, we are going to take a break from Bryce Harper.
Well, as much as we can for the purposes of this update on free agency.
The Phillies are fighting with two competitors now, the Dodgers and Giants, over Harper's services but as the Phils appear to be the third favorite — at least in Harper's mind (he wants to stay out west) the Phillies need to start thinking about a possible life without Harper.
Phillies, #SFGiants and Dodgers all appear to remain strongly in Harper mix, and barring something unforeseen, it appears Harper will pick one of those 3 teams. Philly is in for 10 years, SF is too (via @PavlovicNBCS), LA is viewed as desirable locale tho term offered unknown.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 27, 2019
There are around 60 MLB free agents left — a remarkable number due in large part to how long Harper's been taking — and reportedly one in particular the Phillies may target once they move on.
A source indicates that the #Phillies believe their chances of landing Bryce Harper are remote. The obvious question is whether they would pivot to Keuchel and/or Kimbrel. My sense from our interview with Matt Klentak is that they won’t play on Keuchel and only maybe on Kimbrel.— Steve Phillips (@StevePhillipsGM) February 27, 2019
The former GM and MLB radio host may not be the biggest or most reliable source, but he is inferring from a conversation he had with Phillies GM Matt Klentak and does have contacts in MLB to release reports like this.
Adding Kimbrel, a 30-year-old closer, would be a big addition to the Phillies' already loaded bullpen, which added David Robertson earlier this offseason.
Kimbrel is a World Series champion and went 5-1 with 42 saves and a 2.74 ERA last season in Boston. Pretty impressive. The Phillies don't have a clear cut closer currently, though a few of their bullpen arms seem poised to pitch in the later innings. Inking Kimbrel would surely anoint him as their de facto closer.
It is interesting, at least as Phillips' report states, that the Phillies are not planning on going after former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, a starting pitcher who remains unsigned as well.
You can see if any more information on the markets for these two All-Stars develops further, or if there is anymore Bryce Harper news in our daily live stream/open thread right here:
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