Phillies manager Gabe Kapler makes pitch to Bryce Harper, Manny Machado
The Philadelphia Phillies showed some signs of improvement last season when they won 80 games a year after finishing dead last in the NL East, and manager Gabe Kapler feels they have already proved this offseason that they are committed to contending for a World Series.
With the Phillies having acquired star catcher JT Realmuto in a trade on Thursday, Kapler was asked on Friday how he would address star free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in the wake of some of the moves Philly has made.
"The move is a clear indication that we're in win-right-now mode and we're going to push our chips in." – @Phillies skipper @gabekapler on the addition of J.T. Realmuto #MLBNHotStove pic.twitter.com/zHxu5piyAT
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 8, 2019
“I think the moves that (GM Matt Klentak) made on our behalf prove that we are in win right now mode and we are going to push our chips in,” Kapler said. “When I see an organization make that kind of commitment, I want to be a part of it.”
Kapler said he was speaking to all players and not just Harper and Machado specifically, but there has been plenty of talk about the Phillies still wanting to sign one of the two sluggers.
In addition to the Realmuto trade, the Phillies also acquired shortstop Jean Segura in a trade with the Seattle Mariners earlier this offseason. Those trades combined with their signings of outfielder Andrew McCutchen and reliever David Robertson prove the Phillies are serious about ending their seven-year playoff drought.
Harper may be hoping to sign with another team this offseason, but he’s a Scott Boras client who will almost certainly follow the money. That in itself gives the Phillies an advantage over some other teams.