It was a totally understandable and obvious thing for Harper to say because (a) Mike Trout is amazing; (b) Philly loves Mike Trout and there are lots of reasons to believe Mike Trout will want to go to Philly when he’s a free agent; and (c) Bryce Harper is going to be in Philly for the next 13 years and only a certifiably insane person would not want Mike Trout as a teammate.
While not a huge bit of news substantively, procedurally it might be a problem because, as Bill noted, MLB has rules against players and teams talking about players who are under contract with other teams that fall under the heading of “tampering.” Bill predicted that MLB would have something to say about Harper’s comments and, yep, MLB does:
MLB has been in touch with the Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies regarding Bryce Harper's comments about Mike Trout, sources tell ESPN. Whether they constitute tampering — Harper saying he'd talk with him "in 2020" may protect him — has yet to be determined.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 6, 2019
They may fine Harper or give him a rhetorical slap on the wrist. Pretty sure Harper can afford it, of course, so all of this will be forgotten by tea time today.
In other news, while I understand the purpose of the tampering rules, I find it amusing yet unsurprising that Major League Baseball seems to be far more concerned about behavior that may spark a bidding war over a star player than they are about potentially collusive behavior or front office types anonymously talking smack about free agents to national reporters, which has the effect of driving down their market.
Bryce Harper will get a talking to or a fine for saying the bleedin’ obvious. “A rival evaluator” whose identity is pretty easy to ascertain will get quoted saying they think a player will break down or that his swing is exploitable or some nonsense and no one bats an eye. Yay.