Bryce Harper on Recruiting Mike Trout: 'You're Crazy' If You Think I Won't CallMarch 5, 2019
Bryce Harper has gone from subtle referencing to outright recruiting Mike Trout to join the Philadelphia Phillies.
"If you don't think I'm gonna call Mike Trout to come to Philly in 2020, you're crazy," Harper said Tuesday, per SportsRadio 94WIP.
Trout, a lifelong Phillies fan, will become a free agent following the 2020 season. He's not backed down from the possibility in public comments, though he's consistently said he enjoys playing for the Angels.
"I don't think I went a day this offseason without someone saying, 'When are you coming to Philly?'" Trout told reporters last month. "I can't predict the future. I don't know."
Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies this offseason, the largest contract in North American sports history. The 2015 NL MVP said he spoke to Trout throughout his free-agency process to get a better idea of what to expect in Philadelphia.
"Just seeing where he grew up in Philly, things like that," Harper told reporters. "I played with him in the [Arizona] Fall League [in 2011], and we've kept in contact over the last seven years. But just trying to get a hometown kid to tell me what he felt, how he felt about the organization and the area and things like that. He's a kid who grew up seeing the Phillies have success, so going through those times with the fans and things like that. It was good to get his perspective and hear how he felt."
Harper also took time out of his press conference to not-so-subtly hint at the Phillies going after Trout.
"I'm making [$26 million] a year. That's going to be able to bring some other guys in as well to build up this organization. There's another guy in about two years that comes off the books. We'll see what happens with that," Harper said.
Trout will undoubtedly eclipse the contract signed by Harper when he becomes a free agent. The two-time AL MVP has been the best player in baseball since his arrival. He has 23 more wins above replacement than any other hitter since 2011, per FanGraphs.