Bye Bye Bryce: Phillies make Harper signing official

Ben Krimmel
March 02, 2019 - 2:57 pm

Well, it is now officially official.

The Philadelphia Phillies unveiled their record-breaking signing Bryce Harper at a press conference Saturday in Clearwater, Fla. 

It was a strange, strange sight to see the former Nationals slugger hand-in-hand with the Phillie Phanatic.

Earlier Saturday, the Washington Nationals said thanks to Harper for the special moments during his seven years in Washington.

Of course, when it came time for Harper's 2 p.m. introductory press conference with the Phillies, the Nationals had something else on their mind.

At the press conference, the ex-Nats outfielder said Washington GM Mike Rizzo reached out to him to wish him well after signing with the Phillies.

"I have so much respect for Mike Rizzo. He actually reached out and told me congratulations," Harper said.

"Players in that clubhouse reached out to me to say congrats," he said of his former teammates in D.C. "Love everyone in that clubhouse."

But the 2015 NL MVP didn't come out of the day without making one mistake.


Harper, who will wear No. 3 in Philadelphia, said he was excited to get started. 

RELATED: Werth says Harper will thrive in Philly

"I can't wait to get on that field and (make) Philly Nation proud," Harper said. "I'm excited to get started. Here's to a new chapter."

"I wanted to be somewhere for a long period of time," Harper said Saturday. "They made that commitment to me and I can't wait to be a part of the Phillies for a long period of time."

"I've grown to love playing in Philly," Harper said.

The former Nationals star also finally made his MLB The Show announcement, days after news of his signing broke and weeks after the video game teased breaking the news on social media.

"Good things take time, as well," Harper said, while not promising success in Philadelphia overnight. "It's gonna take some time."

And competition in the NL East will be stiff in the near future. As many teams in MLB are not hading out big money to free agents, the Nationals have outlaid an impressive amount on new signings this offseason, and the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets are positioned to challenge for the division as well. 

But Harper isn't worried about the short term, instead he's focused on his legacy.

"I think you're always remembered for winning and what better place to do it than Philly," Harper said.

Philadelphia fans may love their new signing, but D.C.'s Chuck Todd said it won't be the same. 

"They will never love you, the way Washington would've loved you," Todd said. "I hope you enjoy third place."

"I think going back there's gonna be a lot of fun," Harper said about Washington on Saturday. "I look forward to facing the Nationals."

Well, Bryce, see you on April 2 at Nats Park.

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