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Flyers Manage to Force OT, but Blue Jackets Prevail

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

After very limited production, the Flyers managed to get 13 shots on goal in the third period. One of them managed to go in to tie the game with under seven minutes to play.

The Flyers had to settle for overtime, but still had an opportunity to claim a key win over a divisional opponent. Despite controlling most of the overtime, the star power from Columbus was just too much.

The Blue Jackets claimed a 4-3 win over the Flyers on Thursday night as Seth Jones scored with 32.3 seconds remaining in the overtime.

Continue reading "Flyers Manage to Force OT, but Blue Jackets Prevail" »


Phillies Become 1st in MLB History to Add 3 All-Star Position Players From Previous Season

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

December 3. February 7. February 28.

Eighty-seven days have passed since December 3, the day the Philadelphia Phillies acquired All-Star shortstop Jean Segura from the Seattle Mariners.

Twenty-one days have passed since February 7, the day the Phillies acquired All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins.

And then, today, Thursday, February 28, the day the Phillies signed All-Star Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $330 million contract with a full no-trade clause and no opt-outs.

The Phillies' additions of Segura, Realmuto and Harper are the first time any club in Major League Baseball history has added three position players in an offseason, all of whom were All-Stars in the previous season, notes ESPN's Kevin Negandhi.

Fans have high hopes for 2019 because of these additions, and others, which include RHP David Robertson and left fielder Andrew McCutchen. More could come, such as LHP Dallas Keuchel and/or closer Craig Kimbrel.

And while Harper's contract is the first-ever 13-year pact in MLB history, it is only the 13th-highest-ever AAV contract at $25.4 million, notes Spotrac.

Harper could have demanded an opt-out in the deal. He could have signed elsewhere for a shorter commitment but higher AAV. He could have signed closer to his hometown of Las Vegas. But he didn't. He chose Philadelphia.


Fans, Players React to Phillies Signing Bryce Harper

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By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Where were you and how did you react when you heard the news that perennial All-Star Bryce Harper has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies?

Fans and players alike were not shy to show their excitement following a 100-plus-day wait for Harper to decide to don red pinstripes in 2019.

Continue reading "Fans, Players React to Phillies Signing Bryce Harper" »


MLB The Show Releases Cover, Trailer with Bryce Harper as Phillie

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By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Bryce Harper, finally, is a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Throughout the offseason, MLB The Show has teased fans of the prospects of the perennial All-Star donning red pinstripes in 2019.

Well, now that it is a reality, The Show released the cover and trailer for their 2019 game, shortly after the Thursday announcement.

Continue reading "MLB The Show Releases Cover, Trailer with Bryce Harper as Phillie" »


Broken Goblet Brewery Creates "The Bryce is Right" Beer

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Beer and baseball go perfectly together, right?  The news that Bryce Harper agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Phillies broke on Thursday afternoon, and a local brewery was ready for the announcement.   The brewery that brought us "No One Likes Us, We Don't Care" is back with another.

Broken Goblet Brewing announced via their social media accounts, that "The Bryce is Right" is the next beer to hit the brewery:

Broken Goblet is currently located at 1500 Grundy Lane in Bristol, PA, but is set to move in the very near future to 2500 State Road in Bensalem.  The date of the opening will be announced soon.

The Phillies got their man, so there is reason to celebrate.  What better way than with a good beer?

 


Phillies to Sign Bryce Harper

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

The wait is over. Six-time All-Star, 2012 National League Rookie of the Year, 2015 National League Most Valuable Player and Silver Slugger Award winner Bryce Harper will sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. According to multiple reports, the deal is worth 13 years and $330 million with no opt-outs and a full no-trade clause, which sets a new North American sports record for overall dollars committed to one player.

Through seven seasons thus far in his career — all spent with the Washington Nationals — Harper, 26, has logged 183 doubles, 18 triples, 184 home runs, 521 RBI, and a .279/.388/.512 career slash. Harper was drafted first overall in the 2010 amateur draft out of the College of Southern Nevada. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francsico Giants were reportedly the only remaining teams interested in Harper other than the Phillies.

  • Dodgers' offer: Four-year deal worth approximately $45 million per season (per Jon Morosi); 3 years, $135 million or 4 years, $168 million (per Bob Nightengale)
  • Giants' offer: $310 million over 12 years; would need to be at least $335-plus million due to California taxes (per  Nightengale).

Dodgers: 3 years, $135 million or 4 years, $168 million. #SFGiants: 12 years, $310 million. #Phillies: 13 years, $330 million. No opt out. Full no trade. No deferred money

Harper's agent, Scott Boras, said the outfielder did not want an opt-out clause, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury. Rather, he prioritized being in "one city the rest of his career," a "long-term deal that would keep him in one place," a "hitter-friendly ballpark," "franchise direction," and "commitment to winning."

According to Salisbury, when Phillies managing partner John Middleton traveled to Las Vegas last weekend to express his long-term vision to the All-Star. Middleton's wife, Leigh, joined Harper and his wife, Kayla, for dinner. Middleton stressed community, family and the "Phillies' long history of charitable work" in his pitch.

It worked.

And, barring a decision to move on from Odubel Herrera in center field, the Phillies will have Herrera, Harper and Andrew McCutchen as their everyday starting outfielders. Last season, McCutchen and Harper alone combined for 282 hits, 186 runs scored, 165 RBI and 54 home runs.


Phillies Second Baseman Cesar Hernandez is Latest to Suffer Injury

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The Phillies were counting on Cesar Hernandez to be their everyday second base man this season but it appears that is now in question. The second base man was widely criticized for a down season in 2018 but he was evidently dealing with a broken foot that may have contributed to his struggles. There was hope a healthy foot would help him get back on track this season but it seems different injury will set him back again.

Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports a right hip injury for Hernandez:

With no time table for his return, it is hard to predict how long he will be out with this injury but an extended absence will create a good opportunity for Scott Kingery. Kingery's natural position is second base but he played mostly shortstop last year. With Jean Segura now the everyday shortstop, he was left as a super utility man without a home. With Hernandez out, he might get an extended look at second base.


Flyers-Blue Jackets: Game 64 Preview

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(Photo: Kate Frese)

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

A win on Tuesday moved the Flyers ahead of the Buffalo Sabres in the standings. The Flyers have a ways to go before the pass the next team in front of them, but they can put a dent into things on Thursday night.

The Columbus Blue Jackets may have loaded up at the trade deadline, but they currently sit outside of the playoff picture with 19 games to play. The Flyers are six points behind Columbus, looking to cut into that margin.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Continue reading "Flyers-Blue Jackets: Game 64 Preview" »


Report: Phillies Highest Harper Bidder, But Not Favorites

 

Is all the "stupid money" in the world enough for the Phillies to land free agent outfielder Bryce Harper?  That might not even be enough.  According to a report on Thursday morning, the Phillies are fading fast in the Bryce Harper derby, despite them perhaps offering the most money.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Phillies might not be able to convince Harper to play for them no matter what:

The Phillies, considered the heavy favorites all winter, still have the highest offer on the table, but may now be on the outside looking in. They are beginning to wonder whether Harper would sign ever there, no matter how much money they keep offering.

Failing to land Harper would be a major disappointment for the Phillies team and for their fanbase.

The Phillies, who already declined to match the $300 million, 10-year deal that infielder Manny Machado received from the San Diego Padres, expected to land one of either free agent superstar this winter.  Their financial wherewithal was supposed to be what brought the club back to relevance this winter.

Even though the Phillies are much improved, they are still a couple moves from being strong playoff contenders.  Adding Harper or Machado would greatly enhance those chances.  Additionally, the Phillies fanbase whose interest was piqued once again in anticipation of adding a star player will feel played.

Should the Phillies lose out on Harper, they will have few opportunities to add a player with this kind of star power anytime soon.  Third baseman Nolan Arenado, who would have been the star of next year's free agent class, signed a new eight-year deal with the Colorado Rockies.

Mike Trout may not make free agency, either.  The Los Angeles Angels have had "internal discussions" about an extension with Trout.  But also the club left Trout alone this winter to grieve the untimely death of his brother-in-law.  So Trout could be off the board before free agency. That leaves the likes of third baseman Anthony Rendon and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt as the crème of next year's crop.  Goldschmidt will be 32 and plays the same position Rhys Hoskins just returned to.  Rendon might not make free agency, either, since the Nationals reportedly will prioritize re-signing Rendon after losing Harper.  Rendon is open to such an extension.

In short: The Phillies will still have stupid money and nothing to spend it on.  And the fans will be very, very disappointed.

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Phillies Injury Updates: Roman Quinn Suffers Another Injury

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Outfielder Roman Quinn is injured once again (Frank Klose/Sports Talk Philly)

"Will he ever stay healthy?"  That is a question often asked about Phillies outfielder Roman Quinn.  A very talented center fielder who has speed and can hit, Quinn has not been able to stay on the field in recent seasons due to injury.  Unfortunately, he has suffered yet another injury.

According to Megan Montemurro of the Athletic, Quinn has suffered an oblique strain:

Quinn has dealt with an oblique injury before.

The problem with the oblique strains is that they must be cured only by rest.  A strain can take weeks to heal.  Depending on how mild it is, he could return to action soon.  But if a strain is re-aggravated, it could add weeks to the recovery time.  If surgery is needed, an oblique strain could take months to heal.

Other Injury Updates:

Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera has missed time with a strained hamstring.  Herrera was in uniform for Saturday's Grapefruit League opener and in the dugout with the team.  Herrera remains out, despite the strain being called "slight".  The Phillies will have to use Aaron Altherr, Adam Haseley and Mickey Moniak more frequently in center field in the interim.  Altherr is set for the start today.

Sean Rodriguez joined the Phillies on a minor league deal.  The utility player suffered a meniscus tear and a knee sprain during early workouts.  But Rodriguez pinch hit in Sunday's game against the Detroit Tigers and is set to start in right field today at Spectrum Field against the Minnesota Twins.

Reliever Tommy Hunter also had bad news.  Hunter suffered what the Phillies are calling a grade 1 flexor strain (via Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia) and will miss two weeks.  Hunter is one of many right-handed relievers on the club, so there is depth, particularly after the addition of Juan Nicasio to the mix.