Phillies rumors: Bryce Harper disliking Philadelphia untrue
Jim Salisbury said on a radio appearance Thursday that the idea Bryce Harper does not want to play for the Phillies in Philadelphia is not true.
With little else occurring in the Philadelphia sports world, all eyes are on the Phillies and their pursuit of Bryce Harper. One of the bigger questions about Harper’s free agency decision is whether or not he even wants to play in Philadelphia.
Rumors were floated in the past that Harper isn’t a fan of the idea of playing in Philadelphia. The long-standing theory was that he wanted to play for the Dodgers, but that possibility is likely out the window at this point.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia went on Sports Radio 94WIP Thursday to talk about the team’s pursuit of Harper. He said that any notion that Harper doesn’t like Philadelphia is simply untrue:
"“I do believe it’s all about money,” Salisbury said on Thursday. “I’ve heard the reports and the rumble that he doesn’t want to play in Philadelphia. I’ve asked people that are very, very close to him if that’s true and they say that it’s not true. We’ll see.”"
Salisbury furthered that point in his own article, restating that money will ultimately be the driving force:
"According to the aforementioned person who is close to him, Harper would have no qualms coming to Philadelphia if the Phillies win these sweepstakes. The person said that Harper has gotten good reports on the city and the fans from current and former Phillies with whom he maintains friendships.Money will still be the driving force in this deal. Concerns over destination appear to be overblown."
Salisbury doesn’t go to print with an article unless he’s sure it’s accurate and verifiable, so he’s likely telling the truth on this matter. These should be welcome words for someone worried Harper will be unhappy if he signs here.
The Harper rumor mill is churning in recent days after the reported signing of Manny Machado. The growing consensus is that Philadelphia will ultimately be where Harper ends up. According to Matt Breen of Philly.com, the team remains confident that they will sign him as they ramp up their pursuit after being outbid for Machado.
There remains some concern among the fanbase about the team’s chances of signing Harper, with more than 75% of respondents to a Twitter poll saying they were “somewhat” or “very” concerned about the club’s chances of landing him. That poll was conducted before Salisbury broke this news, so that number may now be lower knowing Harper has no issue playing here.