We knew the Bryce Harper pursuit – with his youth, generational talent, showy agent, and big-market teams that had gone under the luxury tax – was going to feature twists and turns and craziness. We also knew there was going to be a fair bit of mystery, as the teams that are seriously involved are not going to want to lose even the tiniest bit of negotiation leverage – a 1% swing on his contract could mean literal millions of dollars.
What we didn’t know is just how full of BS every team was going to be.
To date, the Yankees are not interested. The Dodgers only want a short-term deal. The White Sox don’t want to set records. The Nationals have probably moved on. The Cubs can’t afford a reliever.
Now the Phillies – the flush with cash, gonna spend “stupidly” Phillies – have joined the pauper party.
President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail is talking to MLB.com about needing to think about next year and the year after, and needing to preserve the “latitude” to improve in the future, too. Failing to sign one of Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, he says, will not make the offseason unsuccessful. The Phillies didn’t even meet with Harper in Las Vegas at the Winter Meetings when he and Scott Boras were meeting with clubs.
To that I say … oh come on. I don’t believe for a second that the Phillies don’t have some measure of interest in Harper. The *only* reason not to even meet with Boras and Harper is because you’re playing a game. It’s just more BS from the plausible Harper suitors. (UPDATE: Jon Heyman reports now that the Phillies did at least meet with Boras.)
I suppose this was to be expected. And, given that this process is almost certainly going to last will into January, we’ll keep doing our best to sniff out the crap.