A few fans and their Twitter feeds broke the Bryce Harper news to Gabe Kapler and the Phillies.
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said the team found out about Bryce Harper reportedly agreeing to terms on a 13-year, $330 million deal with the franchise from fans who were sitting above the dugout at Thursday's spring training session.
News of Harper's historic contract first broke on Thursday afternoon while the team was practicing in Clearwater, Fla. Kapler said that several fans saw the reports on their Twitter feeds and began sharing the news with Kapler as more updates were shared.
"We had some fans behind us who were sharing moment by moment tweets with us," Kapler told reporters. "We were getting literally like four fans right behind where we were sitting telling us terms and who was tweeting what. We're like 'Who's making the reports? We better make sure that this person is credible.'"
He added: "Still to this moment we want to make sure we're talking about an official acquisition."
Once the team's signing of the superstar outfielder becomes official, the Phillies will have acquired three position players who were All-Stars in the previous year. The team also acquired catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins and former Seattle shortstop Jean Segura earlier this offseason.
"If the reports are true that we acquired Bryce Harper, [that is] certainly franchise-altering, certainly season-altering for the Philadelphia Phillies," Kapler added Thursday. "We were a great ball club coming into spring training without Bryce Harper, but if the reports are true we are going to be an even better ball club with Bryce Harper."
Harper's megadeal sets a record for overall value and tops the 13-year, $325 million deal, an extension signed after the 2014 season by previous record holder Giancarlo Stanton.