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With Manny off market, Phils' focus on Harper

Feb. 19th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Bryce Harper is the final superstar standing for the Phillies.The pressure to sign him intensified Tuesday, when they learned that Manny Machado agreed to a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The Phillies had pursued Machado since July, when they tried to acquire him before the

Hoskins would love to play alongside Harper

Feb. 19th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Suhhhhh kiiiiiiid.It is the social media comment heard around Philadelphia, when Bryce Harper typed a short message the other day on one of Rhys Hoskins' Instagram posts. Phillies fans freaked, hoping to find some meaning in the words of the free agent that Phillies fans desperately want

Here are the Phillies' Top 30 Prospects

Feb. 19th, 2019

The Phillies ended the 2017 season in last place in the NL East, with 96 losses, but as 2018 loomed, there was hope on the horizon. The organization was in rebuilding mode and last year's introduction to the Top 30 prospects list stated the team would be fun to watch

Hernandez ready to run atop Phillies' lineup

Second baseman played through foot fracture last season
Feb. 18th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Early in Jimmy Rollins' career he thought he could score 150 runs in a season hitting ahead of Jim Thome, Bobby Abreu, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell. Rollins scored 139 in 2007, when he won the National League MVP Award.It remains the second-highest single-season run total in

Kapler preaches focus at camp amid rumors

Potential deal for Harper or Machado could lead to trades
Feb. 18th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies manager Gabe Kapler has a little advice for the players who could be impacted most if the team signs Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.Focus."Anything that takes your focus away from the batter's box, your position in the outfield, your baserunning, is not good for you," he

Talks 'intensifying' between Harper, Phillies

Negotiations appear to be progressing, though deal not yet imminent
Feb. 17th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies have been the favorites in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes for months, and that speculation heated up over the weekend.MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Sunday afternoon that negotiations between the Phillies and Harper "appear to be intensifying." Sources told MLB.com that while the Phillies and Harper's

30 intriguing position battles -- 1 for each team

Feb. 18th, 2019

Stars might put fans in the seats, but baseball is a sport that rewards the most complete clubs. That's what makes Spring Training more than a series of exhibitions; big league jobs are on the line, and they could end up having a major impact on the season-end standings. The next

Eickhoff throws first bullpen since setback

Righty underwent carpal tunnel surgery in October before experiencing discomfort last month
Feb. 17th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jerad Eickhoff took his latest first step on Sunday morning at Spectrum Field. He threw a bullpen session, his first since sustaining a setback last month following carpal tunnel surgery in October."I was kind of restraining myself with the excitement," Eickhoff said.Eickhoff has made only three big

Franco ignoring rumors, ready for 3B battle

Feb. 17th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Maikel Franco followed the endless and often mind-numbing speculation the past few months from the Dominican Republic.Franco knows that Manny Machado could show up at Spectrum Field at any moment. The Phillies entertained him at Citizens Bank Park just before Christmas. They have made him at least

Segura moving forward with contending Phillies

All-Star shortstop joins fourth team in past five seasons
Feb. 16th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jean Segura said on Saturday that nobody needs to cross the street if they see him coming."I don't like to fight," Segura said at Spectrum Field.But Segura became one of the Phillies' most notable offseason acquisitions, a two-time All-Star expected to give the organization its best overall

Reasons for optimism for each MLB club

Feb. 16th, 2019

On this opening week of Spring Training, all 30 Major League teams have one thing in common: optimism. You've read a lot about teams being all-in for 2019 and also about some teams rebuilding. Here's what's also true: When players and coaches get to work in Florida and Arizona, optimism

Who will hit second and third for Phillies?

Feb. 16th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies manager Gabe Kapler believes the two most important spots in a lineup are the Nos. 2 and 4 holes.Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana hit there most of last season. But with J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura joining the Phillies in the offseason, Kapler has

MacPhail: Phils are 'uniquely poised right now'

President addresses organization's interest in Harper, Machado
Feb. 15th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies president Andy MacPhail opened a 28-minute press conference on Friday afternoon at Spectrum Field with facts and figures about investments the organization made the past few seasons as the team wallowed at the bottom of the National League.Then MacPhail talked a lot about Bryce Harper and

Leaner Herrera more mature after tough 2018

Outfielder 'took this offseason just to get better and work hard'
Feb. 15th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Odúbel Herrera smiled and patted his stomach.The paunch that he carried into Spring Training 2018 is no longer there. Herrera has reported to camp leaner and, as he said Friday morning at Spectrum Field, motivated to bounce back from the worst season of his four-year career.• Spring

Five teams that can still win the offseason

Feb. 14th, 2019

We're reluctant to finalize our list of offseason winners because, as you may have heard, there are some prominent unsigned free agents. Not just Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, either.There are plenty of chances for teams to win the offseason, and between now and Opening Day that's likely to happen

Arrieta reveals knee injury led to 2nd-half dip

Phillies' righty said Thursday that he originally hurt left knee in June, will be ready to open season
Feb. 14th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jake Arrieta on Thursday offered an unexpected explanation for his second-half struggles in 2018: he pitched much of last season with an injured left knee.The Phillies said Wednesday that Arrieta had minor surgery last month to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee following an incident

Manny? Harper? Klentak satisfied but monitoring

GM speaks with reporters at Phillies' camp on Thursday
Feb. 14th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak had just finished a press conference Thursday morning at Spectrum Field, where he discussed Aaron Nola's four-year, $45 million contract extension. He stretched his legs a moment before he sat back down to discuss anything else that happened to be on the

Prospects who should vie for a roster spot in camp

Feb. 14th, 2019

As Spring Training gets underway, MLB.com has taken a closer look at prospects getting the chance to show what they can do in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. For example, there's been a story on 20 prospects likely to be impact rookies during the 2019 season.Our beat writers also singled

New 4-year deal 'felt right' for Nola

Phillies' ace agrees to extension worth $45 million
Feb. 13th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Aaron Nola spoke softly about his four-year, $45 million contract extension on Thursday morning at a news conference at Spectrum Field.It is the only way he knows how. In fact, Nola said he broke the news about his life-changing contract to his parents over the phone in

Franco, Kingery vie for at-bats; Arrieta recovering

Feb. 13th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A slimmed down Maikel Franco and a bulked up Scott Kingery will compete for playing time at third base this season.Unless, of course, the Phillies sign Manny Machado.:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::• Spring Training:Schedule | Info | Tickets | GearBut until that happens

Kapler faces pressure, shifts focus to players

Feb. 13th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Gabe Kapler is trying to keep the focus on his players in 2019, but it might be an impossible task.Kapler remains a focus and a fascination for Phillies fans, following his hire as Phillies manager in October 2017. He was an unconventional choice at the time, and

Realmuto 'excited' to compete for title with Phils

Club introduces All-Star catcher at news conference in Clearwater
Feb. 12th, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- J.T. Realmuto spent much of his offseason scrolling through Twitter, searching for news about his future.His wife, Lexi, did the same."Just trying to find out if anybody knows any scoop that we didn't know," Realmuto said Tuesday afternoon at an introductory news conference with the Phillies at

30 under-the-radar acquisitions who could pay off big

Feb. 11th, 2019

Fans and analysts spend the entire offseason speculating where the top free agents could go, but sometimes an under-the-radar pickup can end up making a world of difference. As positional competitions begin to heat up at Spring Training camps this month, MLB.com's beat writers were asked to identify one potentially

Andrew McCutchen got trapped in a particularly smelly elevator and lived to tell the tale

Andrew McCutchen survived a very smelly elevator
Feb. 12th, 2019

The Oscars are coming up soon, but the greatest filmmaker in the world won't be there because he's got some Spring Training to do. Over the last calendar year, Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen has used the wonders of Instagram to produce some of the most compelling and heartstring-tugging short films