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Philadelphia Phillies Superstar Clarifies Controversial Position Change

Philadelphia Phillies superstar Bryce Harper explains his controversial position change this offseason.

The Philadelphia Phillies have a new long-term first baseman, but not necessarily by choice.

Bryce Harper has always been an outfielder, spending the first 11 seasons of his career there. But after his Tommy John surgery in late 2022, the Phillies moved him to first base last year. For the first time in his career, he didn't play a single game in the outfield.

This offseason, Philadelphia decided to keep Harper at first base permanently rather than move him back to right field, moving on from former first baseman Rhys Hoskins in the process.

Harper arrived at Spring Training on Sunday and opened up about the big change.

"Not too much my preference," Harper said about the move. "At the same time, I think we had a pretty good conversation. Me and (Dave Dombrowski), we sat down and he said this would be great for our organization, and I said okay."

While Harper would have preferred to stay in right field, he was willing to play wherever the organization wanted/needed him for the good of the team.

"I wanted them to know I was on board with anything they wanted to do," Harper said. "I said if you want me in right field, I'll play right. If you want me at first, I'll play first base. As a collective, they said first base is where we want you, and I said okay. I'm gonna do everything I can to be there."

Harper is only 31 and still has eight years remaining on his 13-year, $330 million contract, so the Phillies want to do everything they can to minimize Harper's injury risk and protect their investment. The two-time MVP has already suffered multiple injuries playing the outfield during his career, and his bat is simply too important.

Harper may not like it, but the less responsibility he has in the field, the better.