CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Bryce Harper got here to Philadelphia to do the one factor he didn’t accomplish in Washington: Win in October.
The Phillies gave him one of many greatest contracts in baseball historical past to ship.
“I want to be on Broad Street and hold a (World Series) trophy over my head,” Harper stated after signing a $330 million, 13-year contract.
The 26-year-old slugger was a six-time All-Star, 2012 NL Rookie of the Year and 2015 NL Most Valuable Player throughout seven seasons with the Nationals. But he couldn’t assist Washington win a postseason collection in 4 tries.
That received’t reduce it in Philadelphia.
“We didn’t make this move to win 83 games,” proprietor John Middleton stated.
The Phillies have had six straight shedding seasons and haven’t reached the postseason since 2011. They had been 80-82 final 12 months, shedding 33 of the ultimate 49 video games after main the NL East in early August.
Expectations already had been excessive after the workforce acquired All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, two-time All-Star shortstop Jean Segura, 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen and reliever David Robertson. Adding Harper skyrocketed everybody’s hopes, particularly followers who jumped on tickets and No. three jerseys.
“You’ll always be remembered for winning and what better place to do it than Philly,” Harper stated.
He’ll make his debut in red pinstripes when the Phillies host the defending NL East champion Atlanta Braves on March 28.
Here’s some issues to find out about rebuilt Philadelphia:
NEW FACES: Harper is the brand new face of the franchise however he can’t do it alone. Realmuto is among the finest at his place and will increase his offensive manufacturing in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Segura solidifies an essential spot and bolsters the lineup. McCutchen is decided to show he’s not executed but. Robertson is a key a part of a deep bullpen.
THE SKIPPER: Manager Gabe Kapler was closely criticized and intensely scrutinized in his first season main the workforce. He took loads of warmth for utilizing a whole lot of pitchers, completely different lineups and a few even had points together with his constructive method. The Phillies received the offseason and now it’s as much as Kapler to assist the workforce win video games.
ACES WILD: Aaron Nola established himself as probably the greatest starters within the majors final 12 months, ending third in Cy Young Award voting. The right-hander, who takes the mound on opening day for the second straight season, anchors a questionable rotation. Jake Arrieta received paid to be an ace final 12 months however pitched extra like a No. 4-5 starter. His velocity has improved in spring coaching and he’s feeling higher following offseason knee surgical procedure. If Arrieta pitches like he did when he received the 2015 NL Cy Young Award with the Cubs, the Phillies may have a prime 1-2 punch. They’ll want extra from Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez and Zach Eflin or the offense should outslug opponents very often.
DYNAMIC LINEUP: Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco are going from batting in the midst of the order to hitting within the decrease third in Philadelphia’s revamped lineup. That’s how deep and balanced the new-look offense will likely be with Harper, Realmuto, Segura and McCutchen becoming a member of slugger Rhys Hoskins and Cesar Hernandez. Seven of the eight hitters have hit 20 homers in a season, together with six of them in 2018 and Hernandez had a career-best 16 final 12 months.
DEEP PEN: Robertson provides depth to a formidable group that features Seranthony Dominguez, who emerged because the nearer as a rookie final season. Former nearer Hector Neris rebounded properly late within the season after shedding his job. Veterans Pat Neshek, Tommy Hunter and newcomer Jose Alvarez make this a powerful unit that might get the decision usually if the rotation falters.