At first, Bryce Harper thought about remaining in Florida and continuing his workouts.
Many Phillies did.
"Our main thing was to stay and stay as a group," Harper said over the weekend. "We were all going to try to stay there. We were going to try to work out and hit and things like that.
"But the more and more that we figured out it was going to be this serious ...
"We figured out this was bigger than baseball and bigger than all of us."
So, Harper, wife Kayla and seven-month-old son Krew headed home to Las Vegas, where they could be surrounded by family and friends.
At a safe social distance, of course.
The coronavirus health crisis has brought the sporting world to a standstill and Harper, like everyone else, is just waiting it out, trying to stay safe. He makes quick trips to the grocery store and helps his wife cook dinner. He even tried his hand at grilling steaks for the first time last week. Apparently, they were good enough that he may be enlisted to man the grill again someday.
Harper and his wife last week made a donation of $500,000 to charities in Las Vegas and Philadelphia that help those in need.
"Just being able to look out for our neighbor and help out here in Vegas and Philly," he said. "I grew up here in Vegas. I love this place more than anything. Then being able to come to Philly last year and have the fans and city open their arms to me, I just wanted to give back to them a little bit. We're just very fortunate to be able to do that.
"Hopefully it helps a lot of people out, helps them through a hard time and puts a smile on their face. Give them a little bit of happiness and less stress in their life with what's going on right now."
Harper is not sure when baseball will be played again. He hopes that there will be a season in some form, wants to play as many games as possible and is willing to play into the winter, in warm-weather cities, to make it happen. He has continued his intense physical workouts back home in Vegas.
Harper signed a 13-year, $330-million contract with the Phillies a year ago. He arrived in the Phillies clubhouse with a superstar reputation but doesn't project that in the clubhouse. He is very down-to-earth. He loves mixing with his teammates. He keeps up with their doings at home via group text. (Maybe it's called Bryce Updates. Who knows?)
While Harper and his mates hope for a season in some form, there is a real possibility that there will be no season at all. Baseball, like the rest of the world, is at the mercy of this beast known as coronavirus. If there's no season at all, J.T. Realmuto would hit the free-agent market next offseason without playing a game in 2020. The Phils had hoped to sign him to an extension before opening day, but the sport was shuttered two weeks before the scheduled opener and there is now a freeze on negotiations.
At some point, the Phillies will have their chance to retain Realmuto.
Harper is confident his teammate will be around for a while.
"I think the Phillies organization absolutely loves J.T. and our team absolutely loves him as well," Harper said. "He's the best catcher in baseball. He's a great person. He's a great family man. He's a guy that we need in our clubhouse. I think the Phillies fans understand that as well. Us as an organization, we have to understand that he's going to help us in the years to come and if you want the best catcher in baseball then we'll make that happen.
"But at this time, of course, it's shut down, but I don't think anybody should fear us not getting J.T. back. I want him more than anything, so I mean it's something we need to make happen as an organization. But you know when that time comes, then (GM Matt) Klentak and (managing partner John) Middleton will make that decision and hopefully, he's back in Phillies red."