Brand new Philadelphia Phillie Bryce Harper caught everyone’s attention when he told reporters that he plans on calling Angels superstar Mike Trout to recruit him to Philadelphia when Trout’s contract expires in 2020. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Angels were not very happy about this, and have reached out to the league to tattle on Harper for tampering:
Angels general manager Billy Eppler said in a text message to the L.A. Times that he is aware of the comments and, “We’ve been in touch with MLB and we have no further comment at this time.”
Brazen, public tampering is best when it forces pro sports execs to turn themselves into sensitive weenies, but you can’t really blame Eppler for feeling threatened by Harper and the Phillies. Theirs is a team currently boasting what many others in baseball don’t have: a collection of good young players, a freshly signed young superstar, and a willingness to spend large sums of money on its roster.
The Angels, on the other hand, have a recovering Shohei Ohtani, the corpse of Albert Pujols, and a four-year playoff drought with which to entice Trout to stay. Harper may not need to be on the phone for long come 2020.