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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Phillies should be smart with signing Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper at Citizens Bank Park. PHOTO: LUKE MALANGA ’20/THE HAWK

The Philadelphia Phillies have done their waiting, seven years of it. They haven’t sniffed the playoffs since 2011. They have spent their time fraternizing with the bottom of the standings while compiling some of the worst records in baseball.

However, things are beginning to look up. Last season was the first time the Phillies had eclipsed 80 wins since 2012.

The young core they built up during their period of incompetency is finally coming to fruition. Rhys Hoskins is one of the best young power bats in the National League and Aaron Nola is one of the top pitchers in baseball.

The Phillies are primed to strike while the iron’s hot. It’s their turn to make a move and propel themselves back into relevancy.

With many of their stars on team friendly deals, the Phillies currently have a surplus of cash, and they are seemingly itching to spend it.

Their owner, John Middleton, alluded to the idea that this would be a huge offseason in Philadelphia when he said the organization might be “even a little bit stupid” about how they spend their money.

All these signs seem to point to the Phillies landing a white whale of a free agenct:  Bryce Harper.

Since then, the Phillies have not put their money where their mouth was. Their key acquisitions haven’t been signings but  instead trades, sending a couple top prospects out the door for Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto.

They have not spent their money poorly, as both these moves addressed some key areas of concern and made the Phillies better.

But none of these trades amounted to  the move.

Unfortunately for the Phillies, they missed out on Manny Machado, who could not be enticed away from earning $300 million to play in sunny San Diego for the Padres. With him out of the picture, the baseball world’s eyes turn to you, Mr. Harper.

Here is one piece of advice for the Phillies in regard to Harper.

Don’t be stupid.

Sure, Harper is a former MVP and a perennial All-Star, but let’s not go crazy here. Harper has shown he is about as inconsistent as they come.

Some years he is an all-around force of nature, batting well above .300 and blasting 40 to 50 home runs.

Other years he functions strictly as an above average power bat. Harper has two seasons where he eclipsed batting .300, but he also has two seasons where he couldn’t get over .250. You don’t really know what you are going to get with him.

When compared to Machado, who has consistently batted .280 over the course of his career while also providing some of the best defense in the league, Harper just doesn’t  match up.

Harper is still an amazing talent. Most of the MLB isn’t as good as Machado, hence why he just got a monster contract. And yes, the Phillies would also be a better team with Harper in the middle of their lineup.

The problem lies in the fact that Harper isn’t going to get less money than Machado. Harper has already reportedly turned down the same $300 million offer from the Yankees.

Somebody is going to make him one of the richest players in baseball, but I don’t know if that should be the Phillies.

There is value in having the freedom to spend. Maybe the Phillies shouldn’t rush to buy the first shiny new tool they see. It may look good in the store, but maybe it doesn’t exactly do the job at home.

Maybe the Phillies should wait for the right tool, one they know can do the job, is from the area is commonly referred to as the best player in baseball. Maybe that is what they should do. 

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