Harper: “In the end, I’ve decided to honor other contractual obligations, obligations which led me to believe that it wouldn’t be in my best interest nor in the interests of the Nationals or the White House if I was in attendance.”
Spoiler: The Seattle Mariners had a sneaky good offseason that should make them serious contenders until around the 6th inning of Opening Day.
Harper took the news about Trout’s $430M deal better than expected, telling friends “I hope he has a blast, you know? Time of his fucking life! Brag to all his fucking California friends about that bullshit, you know?”
Rangers President Jon Daniels: “Let’s face it, even Mike Trout doesn’t have the drawing power of Big Sexy.”
Commissioner Manfred: “I can’t imagine a better time than watching a lot of stellar, exciting, emotionally-charged advertising from Draft Kings, Taco Bell and Budweiser, and spacing it out with occasional images of players in tight fitting uniforms just kind of hanging out in a lush green field.”
MLB teams offered all sorts of amenities to acquire Harper’s services. For Phillies GM Matt Klentak, it was a family promise.