A day after dropping a report that the San Francisco Giants are planning on offering Bryce Harper a “lucrative short-term” deal, Bob Nightengale of USA Today hopped on with Gary & Larry to discuss specifics.
“The Giants don’t want to give a 10-year contract,” Nightengale began. “Nobody does, but the Giants certainly don’t want to. You’re not going to saddle a brand new executive in Farhan Zaidi and say ‘here you’ve got a $300 million contract on the books, you can’t do much with it otherwise.’
“What their game plan is is they’ll probably offer a 5-6 year deal at good money. Probably $30 million a year or so, or probably more even, to try to get him. And say, ‘You know what, do you want a short-term contract to come to San Francisco, or do you want a long-term contract and go to Philadelphia.'”
Harper was reportedly offered a 10-year, $300 million deal from the Nationals at the beginning of the offseason that he turned down. According to Nightengale, the Nationals have fallen out of the sweepstakes for Harper. So have the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“They are definitely out of it,” Nightengale said.
“Right now I really do think it’s the Giants and the Phillies. It’s a two-team race here.”
Nightengale also broke down why Harper is enticed by the Giants.
“The big thing I think is proximity. I think the fact that it’s an iconic franchise, you’ve got 40,000 fans a game, always electricity and buzz there. And you can be the face of the franchise, and you can be the modern day Barry Bonds. Bonds meant so much to the Giants back then, and (Harper) wants to be that guy now. So I think a lot of things.
“I think the tradition of the organization and the fact that he’s never won a playoff round, and this franchise won three World Series in five years.”
All things considered, Nightengale believes it’s a coin-flip between the Giants and Phillies when it comes to predicting who gets Harper.
“With the Giants moving in and all the optimism, I do believe it’s a coin flip. I think for the Phillies to get Harper, they’re going to have to grossly outbid the Giants to get him, I really do. I think if it’s close he goes to San Francisco, if there’s a huge gap, it’s tough to walk away from that kind of money.”
Listen to the full interview below.