The Phillies have money. Oodles of money. It’s the finest and biggest draw that the organization has right now in terms of luring players to don the red pinstripes for 2019.
Bryce Harper wants money. He wants lots of money. Exorbitant amounts of money. His agent and human garbage pile Scott Boras wants lots of money to keep himself in hair plugs for the rest of his days.
But Bryce Harper doesn’t want the Phillies. At this point in the long, LONG drawn out free agency process that much is clear. He’d much rather play for a team on the West Coast than cast his lot in Philadelphia.
Maybe the allure of 70 degree weather 365 days a year and a tepid fanbase is more appealing to him than playing in 95 degree, 100% humidity games in July in front of rabid supporters that will hail him as a conquering hero for each home run, but want to slit his throat after every 0 for 4 night?
Is it smart for the Phillies to pay Harper $300+ million over 10 years when so many reports are claiming he so clearly prefers California?
Should the Phillies play the proverbial sugar momma to Bryce Harper’s sugar baby?
In the words of the immortal Teddy KGB, “Pay him. Pay that man his money.“
The Phillies have backed themselves into a corner this offseason thanks to the crest of a wave that began to form in the wasteland of 2015. The golden years of 2008 were long gone, the heroes of five straight postseason appearances were on the steep downhills of their career, and foolish front office decisions had saddled the franchise with a bleaker future than a 76ers 1st round draft pick.
But ownership assured fans that its fortunes would turn in 2019. Manny Machado and Harper would surely test free agency and the Phillies would be clear of the burdensome contracts that held them back for so many seasons. They’d have money. They’d have prospects. They’d have the free agents to push them back into glory.
John Middleton stoked the flames this December when he showed a wink and a nod to fans, giving them a “Oh yeah, take a look at the shit we’re about to do this offseason” elbow nudge that kicked off hopes that the Phillies were looking into overpaying for BOTH Harper and Machado. And Patrick Corbin! And how could Mike Trout resist this super team in two years when HE hit the free agency market? Think of the dynasty… think of the tattered and demolished corpses of teams the Phillies left in their wake on way to several World Series championships.
The slaughter would be horrific, but we wouldn’t be able to look away.
But then Corbin signed with the Nationals. Whatever. He was never the main target, was he? And then Machado signed with the Padres. Again, not that big of a deal. He chose the Padres over the Phillies?! It just means he’s WEAK WILLED, doesn’t want to win, and never hustled anyways.
The crown jewel was still there for the taking. Nobody would snatch Harper away from us. Nobody could come close to the depths of our coffers.
But whispers started to spread through the ether. Harper NEVER wanted to come to Philadelphia. He’d vastly prefer to play on the west coast. If teams could come close to the Phillies’ offer he’d be set for the sweet life of California living. Fish tacos and empty stadiums by the 7th inning for the rest of his days (Kinkead: and Del Taco).
Is it smart for the Phillies to play the sugar momma to his sugar baby? It won’t be a relationship built on love, but one built on cash. Let’s be honest, isn’t that how free agency always works? Players always prefer one destination over the other, but cash can make them change their mind awfully quick.
This is the corner the Phillies have backed themselves into, so it’s time to embrace it. Years of big talk, Middleton making his infamous December comments, and now it’s Harper or bust, even if he truly doesn’t want to play here in the first place.
Perfect weather won’t feel better than $350 million over 10 years, will it?
And so what? His heart will be in California, but his fine ass will belong to us. He’ll be comfortable here. He’ll live a life of luxury and never want for styling gel or tanning oil again. As long as he keeps producing we’ll love him….and maybe he’ll learn to love us. Sure, he won’t kiss on the mouth, and he’ll probably be seeing someone else on the side in a few years, but these could still be fun years, right?
What do you say, Philadelphia? Should the Phillies pull out the stops and bring some A1 eye-candy into this city? Or should they find someone who loves them for who they are?
Reel him in, John. Philadelphia isn’t going to do better.