Bryce Harper's late spring with the Phillies continued on Wednesday against the Yankees, and after an 0-for-2 performance, he clarified that the team never reached out to him during his free agency tour.
Before Harper even hit free agency, it was expected the Yankees would be at the top of the heap to land the prolific star. However, they made a trade with the Marlins last offseason to land NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, which all but shut the door on that notion.
Growing up a Yankees fan or not, Harper admitted GM Brian Cashman never called him.
"I know the kind of outfield they have," Harper told NJ.com's Brendan Kuty. "They went out and got (Giancarlo) Stanton in that trade. So it was kind of up in the air. Never heard from them, but everybody knew that growing up I was a huge Yankees fan, of course. But I'm happy where I'm at and very excited to start my chapter with the Phillies."
Cashman said the same thing back on March 3, simply replying "No" when asked if the team had interest in Harper.
Harper wasn't welcomed politely at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, as Yankees fans booed him in the two at-bats he stepped up to the plate. And Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka backed the boos by making Harper go 0-for-2 with a strikeout in his second at-bat.
It is still early in camp for Harper, so though he didn't record a hit to silence the negative cheers, he was happy about the progress.
"I felt good during the game, went deep in the count against (Tanaka) in that second at-bat," Harper said. "Punched me out on the cutter. But I was happy I was able to face (Rays ace Ian) Snell and then (Tanaka). Very excited to just go in there and get back out there and see some really good pitchers and get some swings in."
And while Harper failed to collect a hit, Stanton belted a solo homer -- his second of the spring. It was the ultimate statement that the Yankees are content with the stacked outfield already residing on their roster.