By Sam Bush
The Phillies and Yankees tied 5-5 last night in Tampa, but the real news is that Bryce Harper admits the Yanks never even contacted him in free agency.
“I know the kind of outfield they have, the way they went out and got (Giancarlo) Stanton in that trade,” Harper said. “So it was kind of up in the air. I never heard from them. But everybody knew that growing up I was a huge Yankees fan, of course. But I’m happy where I’m at and very excited to start my chapter with the Phillies.”
The trade to which Harper referred was when the Yankees brought in Stanton, then the owner of baseball’s richest contract at $325 million, in the previous offseason.
Harper went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a run against Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
“I felt good during the game, went deep in the count against (Tanaka) in that second at-bat,” Harper said. “Punched me out on the cutter. But I was happy I was able to face (Rays ace Ian) Snell and then (Tanaka). Very excited to just go in there and get back out there and see some really good pitchers and get some swings in.
He added, “I feel like I have six at-bats. Still got to get going, get my timing right. That’s the biggest thing. I think I’m seeing it pretty well. Just got to get timing and … get my at-bats in and get ready for the 28th and just keep going out there.”