Rhys Hoskins ready, willing to help Phillies’ sales pitch to superstar free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado
The young Phillies slugger is willing to help sell free agents, including Bryce Harper, on the experience of playing in Philadelphia.
By now, after all the build-up, Phillies fans are liable to storm Citizens Bank Park with pitchforks if both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper wind up signing with another team.
Rhys Hoskins would have a more reasoned reaction.
"We've already gotten better as a baseball team," the Phillies' first baseman said Tuesday after attending the introductory press conference for newly signed outfielder Andrew McCutchen. "How are you disappointed with that if we've acquired a couple guys already that make us a better team?"
Hoskins was referring to the additions of shortstop Jean Segura in a trade with the Seattle Mariners and McCutchen with a three-year, $50 million contract. Both players are former all-stars. McCutchen is even a former National League MVP. But neither can match Machado or Harper as a franchise-changing superstar.
Machado is expected to visit Citizens Bank Park for a recruiting visit on Thursday. Phillies general manager Matt Klentak met with Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, at the winter meetings last week in Las Vegas. Like most fans, Hoskins said he has been monitoring Twitter to keep up with all the latest rumors. He has even talked to a few players about the experience of playing in Philadelphia.
"Nothing too extensive," he said. "Just trying to offer a helping hand if I can, give a player's perspective of what this organization is like, what this city is like, what the clubhouse is like, what [manager Gabe Kapler] is like."
Hoskins is also a Boras client. Safe to say that Hoskins has been in touch with Harper over the past few weeks?
"Probably safe to assume that, yeah," said Hoskins, adding "I'm here for a chat if he wants it and it'd help."
But Hoskins claimed to have no preference about which of the 26-year-old megastars he would like to become his teammate.
"It's like trying to pick between two really, really good things, right?" Hoskins said. "I think each guy brings something different, both on the field and off the field. Both are really good at what they do. Both are good at certain things within the clubhouse and within a team environment. So, it's hard for me to pick. I don't even know where I would start."
In the meantime, Hoskins will continue to refresh his Twitter feed.
“I’ve figured out in my short time in baseball that as soon as you feel like you know what’s going on, you don’t know what’s going on because it’s probably already changed,” Hoskins said. “As soon as I see a press conference, that’s when I know it’s official.”