Will the Phillies sign Bryce Harper in 2019?

Will the Phillies sign Bryce Harper in 2019?

Even before Mike Trout went hunting with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Phillies fans have been begging to bring the New Jersey native back to Philadelphia and play for the team he grew up watching.

Vegas thinks the Phillies have a decent chance to land a megastar outfielder soon, but it's not Trout. 

Onlinegambling.lv gives 10/1 odds Bryce Harper, baseball's "chosen one," dons the red pinstripes in 2019. 

Despite the perception of arrogance, Harper would fit great in Philadelphia. His blue-collar attitude is what Philadelphia fans salivate over. 

The Yankees (10/3), Dodgers (4/1), Nationals (7/1) and Red Sox (9/1) are the only teams given better odds to land Harper.

Harper is on pace to become the highest paid player in baseball history, and could easily surpass Giancarlo Stanton's 13-year, $325 million contract he signed before the 2015 season. Scott Boras, Harper's agent, will aggressively work the market, and given his track record, it appears he will get Harper that $400 million.  

Vegas gives Harper an over/under of 599.5 career home runs. He has 121 entering this season which means there are a lot of homers left to be hit.

Contention
By the end of 2018, the Phillies will have a better idea of what their everyday lineup will look like. Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera have appeared to lock down spots. The outfield has a plethora of prospects ranging from Nick Williams, Roman Quinn, Aaron Altherr and Dylan Cozens. 

The pitching staff will have young, seasoned arms in Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez.

The prospects for the middle infield have shown great flashes this spring. Scott Kingery has hit .375 with two home runs. Top prospect J.P. Crawford has only three hits this spring but has played well at shortstop. 

By the time Harper becomes a free agent after the 2018 season, he will be 26 years old with six years of major-league service, barring any injuries. A possible 10-year deal would give the Phillies the prime years of his career. 

The money
For the 2017 season, the Phillies' payroll is in the lower third among MLB teams. Money was an issue during the beginning stages of the Phillies' rebuild. The team is paying $23 million in retained salaries (money that is guaranteed to players who were released, traded or bought out) -- including Ryan Howard's $10 million buyout.  

The Phillies benefit from the lack of MLB service from players like Franco, Nola and Joseph -- all of whom are not arbitration-eligible yet. By the time Harper hits the market, the team will still control the contracts of many of its prospects and current major-leaguers.

This ensures the Phillies a lower payroll, which could give them the ability to sign Harper.

The Bank
Citizens Bank Park is considered one of the smallest ballparks in baseball and the dimensions greatly favor Harper's ability to hit with power to all fields. The left and right field porches are 330 and 329 feet from home plate, a pull hitter's dream. The power alley in right is 369 feet and dead-center is 401 feet. 

In his first four seasons, Harper clubbed 121 home runs, hit .279 and drove in 334 runs. 

Now put him in a hitter-friendly stadium like Citizens Bank Park and those numbers should inflate. In 35 games at Citizens Bank Park, Harper has a .300 average, 11 home runs, 24 RBIs and 23 runs scored. 

New at CBP: Primo Hoagies, loaded boardwalk fries, Star Trek bobbleheads and more

New at CBP: Primo Hoagies, loaded boardwalk fries, Star Trek bobbleheads and more

Spring is right around the corner so hopefully you've been training all winter for your summer stomach because there are a plethora of tasty new food options at Citizens Bank Park this season.

The Phillies unveiled a number of the new items at an event at the ballpark this evening and we highlighted some of the best new additions.

New Food Options

The first one that jumps out is a new hoagie offering from the very reliable Primo Hoagies, which will be located in Ashburn Alley. Primo Hoagies will offer a variety of hot and cold sandwiches on their fresh baked breads.

While Chickie's and Pete's crab fries are often the most coveted item at Philly sporting events, it will have some competition in the French fry department this season. South Philly Shareable Stak will be located behind section 120 and offer boardwalk style fries with the option of topping them with in-house roast pork, sharp provolone cheese sauce, cherry pepper aioli or chopped roasted long hots.

One of the more interesting additions is The Mac Shack behind section 122, which will offer house-made mac and cheese with a number of different toppings. Pretty much everyone loves some mac and cheese but I'm curious to see how that translates to a ballpark snack.

Veggie lovers will surely be excited to try the Farmer’s Market Grain Bowl that features toasted red quinoa, brown rice, sweet peppers, cucumbers, radish, baby herbs, and is finished with honey-balsamic vinaigrette. Also new this year is a Falafel Sandwich.

There will also be some new kiosks at Zoom Foods behind section 126, which is described as "the next step in the evolution of stadium food & beverage service, featuring customer-facing, self-ordering kiosks -- improving guest experience and speed of transaction time."

Other existing vendors with new offerings include pulled chicken option from Bull's BBQ, new signature Hatfield hot dogs including pork roll as a dog topper, as well as new options at Harry the K's.

New Fashion and Fun

Kids attending games at Citizens Bank Park will surely love the new Galapagos Gang bobbleheads, which includes the Phanatic and his favorite friends. 

An interesting new attire option is dubbed SustainU Ware, which is made in America from recycled products. 

Active Phillies fans will be able to purchase a Phillies-branded activity tracker from Nuband.

Even your pet can be happy eating at CBP this season with Team Treatz SportsSnack. It's exactly like it sounds: Phillies-branded doggy baseball biscuits.

Students and alums from Temple, Drexel, Saint Joseph's, Villanova, La Salle and the University of Pennsylvania will be excited to see New Era hats that combine their school loyalty with their Phillies fandom on hats in their school colors but also featuring the Phillies' 'P'.

New Theme Nights

There are three notable theme night additions that fans can get excited about.

Game of Thrones Night at Citizens Bank Park will take place on July 3 when House Phillies of Philadelphia will take on House Pirates of Pittsburgh. The first 2,000 fans who purchase a ticket through the special promo will receive a special Game of Thrones item.

"You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" 50th Anniversary Night on July 5 where the first 2,000 fans to purchase a ticket through the special promo will receive a Charlie Brown bobblehead wearing Phillies gear.

Star Trek Night: The Next Generation 30th Anniversary Night on Sept. 26 when the first 3,000 fans to purchase a ticket through the special promo will receive a Captain Picard bobblehead. 

John Kruk pranked Chase Utley after his first career hit

John Kruk pranked Chase Utley after his first career hit

Philly Mag has a quick hitting Q&A with new Phillies broadcaster and all-around funny dude John Kruk. The man enjoys mayo on his cheesesteaks, has a swearing problem, and really loves his golf clubs.

Those are just a couple of things you can learn about Kruk from the piece, but the one about the time he pranked Chase Utley is worth sharing.

The best prank I ever pulled ... was on Chase Utley. His first hit in the big leagues was a grand slam for the Phillies. It was his first day. We set this thing up where we called him into Larry Bowa’s office and said, "Your papers weren't submitted in time. You were an illegal player. It doesn't count." He screamed, "Eff all of you!" and walked out.

Chase may have been pretty but he wasn't dumb. It counted.

Look forward to catching more Kruk tales all season long on CSNPhilly's telecast of Phillies games.

You can enjoy Utley's first hit, sans prank, called by the great Harry Kalas below. After Kruk's story resurfaced today, CSNPhilly went and unearthed video of the prank which you can watch above. It's a bit slow until the end but they payoff is worth it.