Could the Giants once again make a run at the biggest name on the open market next season?
That’s what it’s looking like according to Jon Heyman of FanRagSports, who reported on Friday morning that the Giants are expected to make a run at 2015 NL MVP Bryce Harper when he becomes a free agent next season. The Nationals, Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies and Cubs are also expected to be in the mix.
They made a big run at star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, they appreciate sluggers and superstars, they have been cognizant about trying to stay under the luxury tax threshold this year (perhaps to set themselves up for next year?), they have excellent revenues and aren’t exactly overflowing with top-tier young outfielders, even if there are hopes for Steven Duggar and, eventually, Heliot Ramos from a system that has produced a lot of fine starters, a great catcher, and some nice infielders but very few talented, athletic outfielders.
One source close to him said it is indeed expected that the Giants will be in the mix for Harper, who is from the West (he is from and lives in Las Vegas). GM Bobby Evans declined to speculate at this early date what they might do.
Harper, 25, is considered to be a unanimous top-5 player, and would give the Giants a young outfield piece they are sorely looking for. Harper obviously wouldn’t come cheap, with Spotrac estimating his current market value at around $30.2 million per year, and with an expected deal of 10-years, $302 million on the horizon.
In 111 games last year, Harper belted 29 home runs, had a slash line of .319/.413/.595, and finished first in the National League with a 1.008 OPS. The former first-overall pick missed time last season after sustaining a knee injury against the Giants when he slipped on first base trying to beat out a throw. It wasn’t the only notable moment against the Giants last season. Harper also charged the mound after he was plunked by Hunter Strickland at AT&T Park on May 29, leading to a benches clearing brawl.