I’ve woken up the last two days with skull-splitting migraines.
Maybe it’s the weather. Or the allergens that surround me. Or the sinus infection. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s Harper Watch 2019. Yeah, that’s the one.
We’ve been riding a high for the last few weeks with reports of John Middleton flying to Las Vegas to meet with one of the few superstars in baseball, one who more than just the casual fan of America’s pastime can recognize away from the field. But with every passing day since Middleton’s plane departed Vegas late Saturday night, the Harpermania many felt in their hards has lost its luster. It’s dulling.
Like the start of a cold, we started with denial. “Maybe he’s sending the plane back for Klentak and Kapler.” Then Jim Salisbury reported Middleton was on the plane, “Well… he probably made a good impression”. Lump in the throat. In the four days that have followed, we’ve succumbed to the illness. We’ve awoken with that 300 lb. weight imploring us to stay in bed, as if to stay away from the news and the most recent “reports” from
Mo Rocca Jon Heyman. We’ve fought with friends and loved ones when the Dodgers reportedly came back into the picture. Your uncle said, “JUST SHOW HIM THE MONEY! GET IT DONE!” Then this report came out:
— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) February 27, 2019
You’ve had that doubt lurking in the back of your mind, and now it’s whispering in your ear, “Maybe he never wanted Philly…” You listened to music to drown out the doubt. Then this, after the jump:
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
Now what? Do we buy into Kevin’s list of 12 Excuses We Can Use if Bryce Harper Goes to the
Dodgers Giants? Do we put on the “everything’s okay” face? This face:
I don’t know. I was comforted by Dan O’Dowd and Joe Girardi’s thoughts here:
Maybe they’re right. Granted, Marwin González signed on Monday with the Twins, but Keuchel and Kimbrel are still on the market. I love the idea of signing Kimbrel independent of the Harper situation. Installing him as your closer allows you to move Seranthony Dominguez and David Robertson into some combination of the 7th and 8th innings. Now all of a sudden you’d have a legit back end of the bullpen, something the team lacked in long stretches of the 2018 season. On Dallas Keuchel, our own Phillies writer Bob said:
“Keuchel would be a disaster. He’s not good, primarily. Enjoy the years 2-4 of that deal. Arrieta from the left side—who gives up a ton of pull contact with a defense that lacks a lot the left side. Also, if Boras screws over the Phils on Harper—I’m not turning around and signing his declining pitcher as a consolation.”
Keuchel would be a mess here. Slider evaporated a year ago. Opponents hit .262 against it last season after hitting .171 and .167 the previous two seasons. He also got less out of zone swings and misses last season. Lots of red flags there.
— Bob Wankel (@BobWankelCB) February 27, 2019
It remains to be seen what’ll happen in the coming days, but what was once a vibrant vision of an Opening Day roster featuring Bryce Harper now appears to be fading away.
Yay, another update!
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