FILE PHOTO: Sep 24, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper (3) stands in the dugout prior to the Phillies’ game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Bryce Harper played his first seven seasons with the Nationals, leaving Washington in the offseason to sign a 10-year, $330 million megadeal with division rival Philadelphia.
And while the Phillies fell short of the postseason and the Nationals are heading to the World Series, the outfielder said he isn’t second-guessing his decision to go elsewhere and isn’t jealous.
“No. I’m so happy for them,” Harper told The Athletic. “You know how hard it is to get into the postseason and win games. For them to be able to put it together this year the way they have, it’s an amazing thing.”
Harper, 27, played in four National League Division Series with the Nationals, but they never were able to advance to the NL Championship Series. The Phillies were 81-81 this year, finishing 16 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East and eight games out of the wild card.
Harper rejected an offer from the Nationals, who used the saved money to add pitchers Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez, then bolstered the bullpen at the trade deadline.
“It was kind of the perfect storm for them,” Harper said. “… Not signing me, they were able to go out and get the starting pitching that they needed and the pitching that they needed for their bullpen.”
Harper said he’ll be watching his former team on the biggest stage against either the Houston Astros or New York Yankees. The Astros lead the Yankees 3-1 in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.
“I like watching sports,” Harper told The Athletic. “I enjoy watching games. So if the Astros beat the Yankees or vice-versa, I [can’t wait] to see that lineup for the Yankees hit against [the Nationals], or seeing that starting staff for the Astros against that starting staff of the Nats. That’s pretty cool baseball right there.”
—Field Level Media