Phillies reportedly closest to landing Jay Bruce during offseason

Phillies reportedly closest to landing Jay Bruce during offseason

The Phillies could have not only prevented all of Jay Bruce's damage this April, they also could have benefited from it.

According to a report from Newsday Wednesday night, the Phillies were the team closest to acquiring Bruce this past offseason from the Mets.

"The Giants and Orioles expressed interest, but according to a source, the club that came closest to acquiring Bruce had been the Phillies," reports Marc Carig. "It would have made sense. Though squarely in rebuilding mode, the Phillies had the money to absorb a chunk of Bruce's $13 million in salary. He would have been a prime candidate to flip for prospects had his bat come to life."

Bruce is due $13 million this season, his last before reaching free agency. Instead of trading a prospect or two to New York, the Phils opted to sign Michael Saunders to a one-year deal with a team option for a second. Saunders is guaranteed $9 million total.

It might be easy now to question the decision, but consider that Bruce has hit .223 since 2014 and was pretty much a non-factor in 50 games after the Mets acquired him from the Reds at last year's trade deadline.

He's already come close to equaling that second-half production. Bruce has six homers already this season and four home runs and 11 RBIs vs. the Phillies.

Oh and there's this:

Joel Embiid watched draft with fans at XFINITY Live!, signed Sam Hinkie banner

Joel Embiid watched draft with fans at XFINITY Live!, signed Sam Hinkie banner

Joel Embiid is a man of the people.

Jojo took time away from tweeting about the Sixers' newest death squad's nickname and throwing shade at Lonzo Ball to make an appearnce at XFINITY Live! in the South Philadelphia sports complex.

They were hosting an NBA draft party.

Not only did Embiid make an appearance shortly after the Sixers selected Markelle Fultz, he also apparently signed the Sam Hinkie banner that was raised to the rafters at the lottery party last month.

XFINITY Live!'s Twitter account shared the following images and videos:

Brett Brown texted Sam Hinkie ‘basically saying thank you’

Brett Brown texted Sam Hinkie ‘basically saying thank you’

Longtime followers of The Process are well aware that Thursday night was a tag team effort.

Sam Hinkie put the Sixers in the position -- via a plethora of assets acquired during his tenure -- to allow Bryan Colangelo to deal with the Celtics for the No. 1 overall pick that turned into Markelle Fultz.

It's always a little strange hearing current employees give praise to former employees, but if anyone can do it well, it's head coach Brett Brown.

Brett was asked what his conversations with Sam have been since the draft lottery when the #PICKSWAP with Sacramento was executed.

"Just a random text basically saying 'thank you,'" Brown said. "I think organizationally we really haven't missed a beat. The volume of phone calls that I've been on in my four years, they're like every Monday you're on a conference call with the owners. We've tried to be so meticulously responsible in growing this patiently. Sam was excelent at what he did. I think Bryan [Colangelo] took that work and brought it forward. You can't help but go back and recognize how we arrived at the picks we had this year. I think you have to step back and really acknowledge the great work that Bryan did getting it over the line."

"You can't dismiss the position of the club and Sam helped us to get to this level."

Related:

Sixers select Markelle Fultz No. 1 overall 

Fultz made his first funny draft day faux pas 

Joel Embiid really wants Ben Simmons to dunk on Lonzo Ball

Joel Embiid declares Sixers' new nickname with Fultz in town