With yesterday’s blockbuster deal for JT Realmuto – who Phillies GM Matt Klentak described as the “best catcher in the game” – it became even more evident that the Phillies have decided now is the time to win and that owner John Middleton wants to win now. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler made an appearance on the MLB Network today and talked about what the deal meant to him and what it could mean to free agent targets Bryce Harper and Manny Machado:
"The move is a clear indication that we're in win-right-now mode and we're going to push our chips in." – @Phillies skipper @gabekapler on the addition of J.T. Realmuto #MLBNHotStove pic.twitter.com/zHxu5piyAT
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 8, 2019
Transcription after the jump:
Rosenthal: Obviously with Harper and Machado, what’s gonna decide it is money. But, this move yesterday has to be something of an enticement just when you look at the quality of the club. So, if you could address Bryce and Manny right now, what would you say about the 2019 Phillies?
Kapler: I think that the move that Matt made on our behalf was a clear indication that we are in win-right-now mode and that we’re going to push our chips in. So – rather than address Bryce and Manny as you put it – I put myself in the shoes of a player. When I see an organization, I see a club make that kind of commitment, I want to be a part of it. And I don’t think it’s just talent. The guys that we brought in this offseason: David Robertson, Andrew McCutchen, JT Realmuto, these are high-character, high-quality people. I think – look I’m not gonna speak for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado or any other free agent out there – but I think we all want to come to work every day with high-quality individuals. So, I think the concept that we are in win-now mode right now, that that commitment was clearly demonstrated by Matt, our front office, and our ownership group, and the fact that you’re gonna come to work every day in an environment that you’re gonna be surrounded by high-quality individuals, I think those are very attractive qualities to come to the Phillies.
Harper? Machado? I don’t recognize those names. Are they on a roster yet? No? Don’t pitchers and catchers report next week? Full squads in two? Seems a bit reckless to not have signed yet. Please end this madness.
If you’re looking for more Phillies coverage, including a deeper analysis of the Realmuto trade, check out Bob and Anthony’s newest episode of Crossed Up: A Phillies Podcast: