© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
With news breaking today that the Giants have jumped into the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, the ice-cold MLB Hot Stove has re-ignited in the Bay Area. After an entire offseason believing Bryce Harper coming to San Francisco was a pipe dream, it’s now believed there is mutual interest on both sides and a deal could actually happen.
MLB reporter Randy Miller of NJ.com broke the news Wednesday morning that the Giants have re-entered the fray for Harper, and that they — Farhan Zaidi, Bruce Bochy, and Larry Baer — met with him earlier this week. Shortly after publishing his report, Miller hopped on KNBR to discuss the details he’s heard from the meeting.
“I heard a couple of days ago and I was sworn to secrecy,” Miller began. “I am hearing that they are expected to meet this week, and I now can confirm that they did already meet. They met yesterday in Las Vegas. It’s going to come down to money, from what I understand, the Phillies have the most money to spend. From what I heard, Harper is not thrilled with playing there. San Francisco is desirable for him because its close to Vegas.”
Going into the offseason the Giants were expected to be serious players for Harper because of the money they have to spend, and the overwhelming need for outfielders. Because Oracle Park is one of the least hitter-friendly parks in baseball, could that be an issue for Harper?
“I’m not hearing that’s an issue with them, he’s trying to get paid, he’s gonna go somewhere he’s happy, and it’s going to be a compromise. If he goes to the Phillies, that’s probably going to be the most money, but he’d like to be on the West Coast.”
Another area of concern surrounding the Giants is that they’re in a transitional phase. Signing Bryce Harper would surely accelerate that process, but will the current state of the team turn him away from San Francisco?
“The downside of going to the Giants is you’re not sure they’re going to contend and I think he’s probably going to want some assurances if he goes to the Giants that they’re going to have someone to protect him in that lineup.”
If the Giants are lucky enough to convince Harper to come to San Francisco, there are some options out there they can pursue to bolster the lineup even further.
“The Giants outfield situation is a mess right now, but if they get Harper and add one more guy, like Adam Jones to a team-friendly contract for a year or two, all of the sudden they have a formidable lineup. I still think that rotation is good, I like their bullpen, I think they can be a contender if they make a couple moves here, and I think the Giants see that too.”
Many teams have met with Bryce Harper thus far, with the Giants being the latest to do so. In a slow-moving, frustrating market, could Bryce Harper fall in love with San Francisco in the eleventh hour of the MLB offseason? With only a week until pitchers and catchers report, it’s possible that the Harper sweepstakes begins to heat up, and hopefully ends before teams leave for spring training.
Listen to the full interview with Randy Miller below: