The last time Philadelphia Phillies’ superstar Bryce Harper and San Diego Padres’ own superstar Juan Soto were teammates, it was back in 2018 when they played together with the Washington Nationals. At the time, the Nationals had made the postseason for two consecutive seasons and were looking to continue their heavy pursuit of a World Series championship when Soto made his debut with the Nationals in 2018 to team up with Harper.
However, the Nationals couldn’t replicate their success and ended up finishing 2nd in the NL East Division with a 82-80 record that year, and way out of a playoff spot. Harper would end up leaving town to sign a massive 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies during the 2018 offseason, whereas Soto continued his quest with the Nationals, who eventually pulled through in 2019 to capture their first World Series title ever. Had Harper stayed course with the Nationals, perhaps they may have won even more, who knows, as one could only speculate.
But eventually, Soto himself would end up leaving Washington as well, as he was traded in a blockbuster deal to the Padres in 2022 when he turned down a 14-year, $440 million offer by the Nationals. In the near future, Soto is set to enter free agency at the end of the 2024 season.
Which makes the following rumour quite interesting as baseball writer Jon Heyman of the New York Post hinted that the Phillies could be a good fit for Soto in 2024-25 free agency. After all, he has prior ties with former teammates such as Harper, Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, and even the hitting coach Kevin Long, thus making the potential transition over to his new team even easier if it in fact happens. Not only that, as the Phillies’ President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has previously emphasized, one wins with superstars and Soto definitely falls in that category.
Some scouts believe that Soto hasn’t been quite himself so far this year in San Diego, but neither has Harper as well in Philadelphia. But both have proven time and time again to be big-time players throughout their career, so it is only a matter of time before both of them will break out and regain their dominant form. For the season, Soto is still hitting a respectable .264, with a .900 OPS, with 16 home runs, 49 RBI, and six stolen bases, so still pretty solid stats for his so-called “down” year, as scouts were probably comparing to his massive numbers produced during his All-Star, Silver Slugger years back when he was still with the Nationals prior to 2022.
Nevertheless, just envisioning the potential of reuniting the two perennial superstars could be just what the Phillies need to convert their yearly contending team into an extended winning dynasty in the coming years.