Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy of free agency teaming-up or trade scenarios? The NBA is rife with this like if Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving leave their respective teams in free agency to land the max slots that the New York Knicks have available.
Look at the hoopla surrounding the Anthony Davis fiasco with an unprecedented take in a trade offer that included multiple first round picks and up to six players for the superstar. Also, don’t forget about the widespread tampering problem.
In the MLB it’s rare to see that kind of scale like it is in the NBA but Bryce Harper might team up with this young All-Star and it will be an earthquake-sized seismic shift.
Bryce Harper just accepted the most lucrative contract in MLB history at a record 13-year $330 million.
On the surface, it seems like long-term financial security for the two-time National League MVP.
Harper might have chosen to play in Philadelphia because he’s looking to team up with current Anaheim Angels’ Mike Trout, who is inarguably not just the best player in the game right now, but is literally one of the best players of all time. Harper “arguably” being the second best.
Here’s why that makes sense.
Adam Wells of Bleacher Report noted, “Bryce Harper sought the advice from one of Major League Baseball’s biggest stars who knows the city very well.”
Trout “knows the city very well,” because he was born in Vineland, New Jersey, which is literally a stone’s throw to Philadelphia – the equivalent of living in the suburbs of Washington D.C. or the north side of Jersey in relation to New York.
He may not literally live in Philadelphia, but it’s close enough to be a fan of the city’s teams.
Harper said, “I talked to him a lot. From November, all the way through the process.”
They are good friends too.
Harper said during his recent Phillies press conference, “I played with him in the [Arizona] Fall League [in 2011], and we’ve kept in contact over the last seven years. But just trying to get a hometown kid to tell me what he felt, how he felt about the organization and the area and things like that. He’s a kid who grew up seeing the Phillies have success, so going through those times with the fans and things like that. It was good to get his perspective and hear how he felt.”
hello, Mike. pic.twitter.com/YBKstz0MPM
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 4, 2018
See, he’s an Eagles fan.
Here’s the other kicker too.
Trout is up for free agency in 2020 and although he delivers for the Angels, they have never added pieces around him to make them World Series contenders.
He also said during the press conference, “I’m making $26 [million] a year, something like that. So I think that’s going to bring some other guys in as well to build up this organization to win. I know there’s another guy in about two years that comes off the books. We’ll see what happens with him.”
Sure, it’s speculation to assume they’ve discussed this as being a potential powerhouse MLB duo but you’d have to be a fool to think that they haven’t.
The more likely scenario is that Trout probably indicated to his friend that he wants to go play for his hometown team eventually and that could’ve swayed Harper in his decision.
It’s going to be a couple years and a lot can change between now and then but that’s probably why Harper took a 13-year deal just in case.