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Phillies are the talk of the Winter Meetings, at least when Gabe Kapler is talking

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A day light on news was heavy on the anticipation of news.

MLB: Winter Meetings Daniel Clark-USA TODAY Sports

Gabe Kapler is ready for the Winter Meetings to start, and he got to share his excitement on MLB Network to the delight of Gabe Kapler opinion-seekers everywhere.

The Phillies’ skipper spoke about Manny Machado and Bryce Harper in as broad and positively a tone as you would expect. One thing he was asked was how well the young stars would gel with the Philadelphia sports fandom that is such a great Winter Meetings topic in lieu of actual topics, and without really looking, I can tell you that he said something along the lines of, “Yeah, man.”

As far as Bryce Harper goes, the Nationals, who recently surrendered Harper to the free agent market on a public radio station, made a desperate plea for his affections in what had to be strictly for optics.

In any case, the other teams who are actually in on Harper are hungrily moving on their prize, though the White Sox were dealt a cruel bit of conjecture by Tim Kurkjian this morning, and Brian Cashman apparently hinted that six outfielders is enough for the Yankees, and adding Bryce Harper would be a bit obnoxious. MLB’s Yankees beat writer went so far as to call the Yankees “out” on Harper (And “in” on Machado). It’s the Yankees, “obnoxious” is pretty much their brand. And given the knife-wielding state of the NL East, who knows what sort of sinister ploy the Nationals are putting together.

Because when their hitting coach goes on the radio and starts calling the Phillies “the team for Bryce Harper,” it makes me wonder just what in the hell the Nationals know that makes them not only unable or unwilling to re-sign their star, but advocating for other teams to take him. It is suddenly very easy to see Matt Klentak introducing a human-shaped lump of C4 he’s been told is Bryce Harper to the press.

In any case, the Phillies are said to be more into Machado than Harper, but you wouldn’t have guessed that looking at these summaries of Gabe Kapler’s comments. He gets into specifics on Harper while Machado gets more of a “finger guns from across the room” sort of appraisal.

But it wasn’t all all about Bryce Harper on day one, for some reason. Jayson Stark dished so much on the Phillies he felt like he should apologize. He tells us that the Phillies’ “long shopping list” includes J.A. Happ, who is looking for a three-year deal, and that they had gone after Nathan Eovaldi as a closer.

There was some exciting news in regards to the Phillies and pitching today, but it was about a pitcher on a different team and it was quickly killed.

Gadzooks! Mike Foltynewicz? Out of the NL East?!

Like the departure of Jay Bruce, Folty not facing the Phillies in six different starts as he did in 2018 would be a boon for the team. Foltynewicz had a 2.04 ERA against the Phillies—and a 1.59 ERA in three starts at CBP—in 2018, with 40 SO, 12 BB, and only 8 ER. If the Braves were feeling silly enough to trade him, it would be an instant gain for the

Ah. Well.

What a fun 44 minutes.