UPDATE: As of 3:50 p.m. EST on Thursday, Bryce Harper has reportedly agreed to a $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, as reported by The Inquisitr.
If the latest rumors are to be believed, the Philadelphia Phillies are no longer the favorites to sign free agent outfielder Bryce Harper. Per USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, Harper’s free agency saga should be nearing a close after almost four months, and the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants appear to have forged ahead of the Phillies in recent days. But given how long the Phillies were thought of as the most likely team to add the six-time All-Star right fielder to their roster, a local radio host tweeted out some choice words against Harper on Thursday, warning him about what could happen if he decides against playing in Philadelphia.
Early on Thursday morning, Philadelphia broadcaster Angelo Cataldi took to Twitter to offer his latest take on the Phillies’ “quest” to land Harper. After commenting that Harper “had a chance to play in sports heaven,” Cataldi remarked about the possible consequences he could face for spurning the Phillies, which, per the aforementioned report, seems more likely than ever for the 26-year-old superstar.
“Now he can go to hell. When he returns to Philly as an opponent, he will be [receiving] our full wrath with a boo like nothing he has ever heard. Believe it.”
Even if Bryce Harper has never played for the Phillies — nor signed an actual contract with them — it appears that Cataldi isn’t alone in expressing such feelings about the former No. 1 MLB draft pick. Earlier on Thursday, The Inquisitr reported that several fans called into a Philadelphia radio show to rant about the current situation, with one fan in particular accusing Harper of “playing with our emotions too much.” Another fan also threatened to “boo [Harper] so bad,” and even spit on his face in the event that he signs with another team.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 28, 2019
Less than two weeks prior to his latest comments about Harper, Cataldi made his share of critical remarks about the Philadelphia Phillies in an opinion piece published by PhillyVoice. While he only mentioned Harper and his free agency in passing, Cataldi wrote that the team’s management needs to be more transparent in communicating with its fans, in order to have a more meaningful connection with them.
On the other hand, Cataldi also acknowledged — toward the end of his piece — that the Phillies will likely be a winning team in the 2019 MLB season, given how they added “four big new pieces” during the offseason. Per the Philadelphia Inquirer, these new additions include catcher J.T. Realmuto, shortstop Jean Segura, left fielder Andrew McCutchen, and reliever David Robertson.