D.C. sports radio broadcaster says “I believe it’s done” regarding Bryce Harper deal

Bryce Harper batting at the 2018 MLB All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. (Brian Michael/Flickr)

Everyone in Phillies Nation has been waiting with growing impatience for a final decision from free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

If the alleged “real good source” to 106.7 The Fan sports talk broadcaster Chris Russell is to be believed, the process for Harper may be now winding to a close.

Russell stated on the air on Thursday that the superstar outfielder’s decision would “come in the next 24 hours” and added that he did not believe that Harper would be returning to the Nationals.

Then today, Russell joined local Philly FM sports talk Philly 94 WIP’s Midday Show and stated the following:

“… I’m led to believe by the people that I’ve talked to that are close to the situation—and I have, again, a real good source that has helped me through this process, let’s just leave it at that, that Bryce was in a mood to celebrate yesterday.”

Now, the source said, ‘I believe it’s done.’ I don’t have concrete, 100 percent proof for you guys. I wish I did, otherwise I would have it and I would be running around with it. But I don’t have that, so I want to caution everybody in Philadelphia. But that’s what I was lead to believe, that this thing is now decided.

Russell went on to elaborate that if no formal contract has yet been extended, then there may simply have been an agreement reached. That would mean that specific contract details need to be worked out before any actual announcement might come.

Ben Krimmel at the 106.7 The Fan further quoted Russell: “I was, again, led to believe that there was some stuff going on yesterday in Las Vegas that indicated to me and my source that Bryce Harper was done with this decision. But it could still take a couple of days to get everything ironed out.

Information from Russell’s supposed source might be given a bit more credence than some of the other information coming out regarding the Harper situation. It was this source that revealed the San Francisco Giants recent interest in the free agent slugger.

Phillies general manager Matt Klentak stated yesterday that he believes the club has enjoyed a strong off-season and responded to the many fans who have been vocal in expressing that, despite all of the team’s moves to date, the failure to land either Harper or Machado would prove fatal to the club’s chances of truly competing in the 2019 season.

Klentak was quoted by Matt Breen at “The notion that we hear is that if we fail to sign a big free agent, then it’s a failure of an offseason. I don’t agree with that. I’m not trying to throw cold water on the idea that we may still sign a free agent. We are going to continue to explore that market because there are several really good free agents out there.

Jake Arrieta didn’t sign with the Phillies last spring until March 12. (Ian D’Andrea/Flickr)

Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, who did not sign with the Phillies last spring until March 12, was quoted on the situation by Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia:

I was in that same boat…They want to be in camp with their teammates. That was the hardest part for me, not being in Clearwater with these guys for the first three weeks — not getting to develop those relationships, get to know the catchers, the coaching staff. That’s tough…It’s tough on them and their families to not have a team to be with. Even though those guys are going to get taken care of financially, it’s still tough on them not being in a clubhouse and getting to cultivate those relationships that are so important for everyone on the team.

Besides the obviously headline-grabbing nature of a “this thing is now decided” comment, Russell had another interesting opinion to share towards the end of today’s WIP interview when he stated the following regarding Harper: “I don’t think he likes the extreme intensity and rabid, rabid, critical nature of a Philadelphia, or a New York, of a Boston, and that, I think, is important.

One thing that Russell never said at any time is that he believes that Harper, if indeed a decision has been made, will be choosing the Phillies. In fact, based on that last comment, Russell would have to believe that San Francisco is a more likely destination.

You can listen to the entire interview conducted by WIP Midday Show hosts Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie with Russell at the embedded link above within the body of this story. If Russell’s “source” proves to have good information, we should see an end to the Harper free agency saga any day now. But even if so, will it prove to be a happy ending for Phillies fans?






  1. Tim Brown

    February 15, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    SF Giants? That’s a clown team, bro.

  2. Poe

    February 15, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Two little piggies waiting it out.
    They want more more more.
    Two little piggies sitting it out.
    They’re entitled to more more more.
    Two little piggies care only about
    Themselves; not their brothers.
    Piggies don’t care about the others.
    More. More. (Insert word that rhymes with more).

  3. The Rock

    February 15, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    So Bryce won’t sign with a team short term.

    SF is only going to offer a short term deal.

    SF is a team filled with bad contracts (Yes they have a few good players). Point is, they aren’t that good.

    Now mysteriously, after being reported that he wanted to play for the Yankees, this guy says “He hates the atmosphere of NY, Boston, Philly” uh…. huh

    So what is it? He likes this but doesn’t like it. He won’t sign a short term deal, but is going to sign with the only team offering him one….

    This is sports journalism these days?

    • Matthew Veasey

      February 15, 2019 at 7:01 pm

      Hey, all you can do at this point is try to follow sources that pop up with new information, even hot takes, as they emerge. “Sports journalism” is a wide-ranging subject. Everything from in-depth, comprehensive, well-researched pieces to game summaries, short stories on breaking news or public comments, and everything in between. We’ll keep doing our best to present the information as it emerges into the public sphere. Fans can then sort out what they like or don’t, what is of interest to them and what is not. Hope you keep enjoying most of our coverage.

    • czontixhldr

      February 15, 2019 at 8:28 pm

      Rock, I think it’s meant to be a message that for him to say yes to playing in Philly he needs to be compensated for his lack of thick skin.

      So Middleton needs to pony up more diugh because harper is a snowflake.

      I think that’s what it means.

  4. lou possehl

    February 15, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Here’s a personal POV on what’s happened so far. Suppose, for exactly the same deal – that is, Alfaro, Sanchez, etc. – the Phillies could have landed EITHER Realmuto or Machado. Color me crazy but, in a close call, I go with Realmuto. For various reasons – if I can choose between a great 3B and a great catcher, I go with the catcher. Plus, there may be lingering questions as to just what role Machado would play with the Phillies – thanks to the off-season, we already have an all-star SS, but would Machado be really, really happy at 3B?

    In any case I think it’s a very close call but however you slice it, we’ve already landed a “Machado-caliber” player. And the Front Office deserves a pat on the back for that. I think that, in all the Macharper preoccupation and mania, the true value of the Realmuto signing may be overlooked.

    • Terry Meehan

      February 15, 2019 at 10:23 pm

      Thank you Phillies employee # 517

      • czontixhldr

        February 16, 2019 at 1:24 pm

        Terry, whether Lou is a Phillies employee or not, landing Realmuto is a legit, VERY big upgrade at catcher, so he’s correct.

        Look at it this way: Had JTR been a free agent this offseason, he would have easily been in the top 3 available, and would have been perhaps the most desired of the bunch because of the position he plays. He is a legit All Star.

        JTR would have had more teams after him than either Harchado, and would probably gotten a contract of at least 5/75 -5/90. He’s THAT good, and an upgrade for almost every team in MLB.

        So, the way to look at it is that the Phillies “spent” one MLB player and two prospects instead of money to acquire one of the best 3 players available this offseason.

      • lou possehl

        February 17, 2019 at 2:56 pm

        Terry, I apologize. As I good Phillies fan, I realize a cardinal (no pun here) rule is to never, ever say something positive about the team, or what it does – and I broke that rule.

        The sun is shining today. But it’s 40 degrees, and that’s too hot.

  5. Craig Glessner

    February 16, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Be careful of clowns. Remember Killer Klowns from Outer Space, IT, and that crazy looking dude that stands in front of McDonald’s.

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