SportsPulse: Now that Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have signed we can finally look ahead to actual baseball. Here are the storylines that will define the MLB in 2019.
Tampering or not, Bryce Harper didn’t back away from his comments about recruiting Mike Trout to the Philadelphia Phillies.
“If I didn’t mean it,” the new Phillies outfielder said, “I wouldn’t have said it.”
Harper, who signed a 13-year, $330 million deal last week, caused a stir Tuesday when he told a local Philadelphia radio show he would campaign for the two-time American League MVP if the Los Angeles Angels outfielder became a free agent after the 2020 season.
“If you don’t think I’m not gonna call Mike Trout in 2020 to have him come to Philly, you’re crazy,” said Harper.
That didn’t sit well with Angels general manager Billy Eppler, who contacted MLB about a possible tampering violation. MLB said in a statement they are aware of the comments and have been in contact with the Phillies and Angels.
Trout, who is from Millville, New Jersey, which is near Philadelphia, is under contract with the Angels for another two years.
Harper’s comments made its way to Angels camp in Tempe, Arizona. When approached by media members Wednesday, Trout didn’t have much to say about Harper’s comment.
“Obviously I saw it,” he told the Orange County Register. “He’s excited. He’s excited about his team. I have no control what he says.”