Could Phillies set sights on Bryce Harper pal Kris Bryant?
It was no secret the Philadelphia Phillies had visions of one day signing Mike Trout, but the Los Angeles Angels had other ideas and locked the superstar up with a record-breaking, 12-year, $430 million extension.
With the New Jersey native set to spend the rest of his career in California, the question now is what impending free agent could the Phillies set their sights on to pair with Bryce Harper?
A recent conversation between Keith Law and Buster Olney on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight podcast speculated one of Harper’s longtime pals could fit the bill.
“I feel like when you look at the landscape of where the players are and who might be affected by this.” Olney said, as transcribed by NJ.com. “Bryce Harper tried to recruit Mike Trout initially. He talked about how he was going to. That obviously isn’t going to happen. I would not at all be surprised to see Kris Bryant wind up on the Phillies with Harper. They are both represented by the same agent, Scott Boras. These two guys know each other. In a couple years, you can see a third base hole in Philadelphia. His number obviously goes up if he shows he’s healthy.”
As Olney notes, Harper immediately went all-in on the intent to recruit Trout to Philly upon signing with the Phillies. Harper and Bryant, whose friendship goes back to growing up together in Las Vegas, certainly would make for a star-studded tandem.
After all, their close bond inspired rampant speculation that Harper would join his pal on the Chicago Cubs in free agency.
Bryant, 27, is slated to hit free agency following the 2021 season. The Phillies currently have Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery penciled in at third base on the depth chart.
However, the organization’s top recruit is Alec Bohm, a 22-year-old third baseman who the Phillies selected with the third-overall pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft.
Still, the lure of bringing in one of Harper’s best pals to handle the hot corner for years to come certainly has to be intriguing to the Phillies.