The game of chicken is finally over.
After months of baseball’s two best free agents remaining unsigned, Manny Machado reportedly inked a 10-year, $300 million with the Padres on Tuesday. Now it’s time for the other shoe to drop, and many are wondering how Machado’s deal will affect Bryce Harper’s, from both the standpoint of where he signs to how much he makes.
Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly joined Gary & Larry on Tuesday morning and attempted to answer both of those questions. What he had to say won’t excite Giants fans who are hoping the club lands the former MVP.
“I never thought the White Sox were going to sign either of these guys, I think it’s going to be the Phillies,” Baggarly said of where he thinks Harper will end up.
“We know the Phillies are going to top what Machado got. I would put the over-under at $320 million, maybe even an 11th year, I would not be surprised to see that. I think they wanted to engage Washington because I think Bryce would like to go back to Washington if it’s still there. I don’t think it will be, but that’s part of what’s been dragging this thing out.”
Baggarly doesn’t believe that Machado going to a division rival will change what the Giants have offered Harper, which likely hasn’t been a deal beyond seven years.
“No I don’t think it changes anything really. Does it dramatically shift the balance of power in the division? I don’t know that this one move really does that. I just don’t think you’re going to see responsive, reflexive kind of moves from (the Giants’) front office structure. I think they are going to look at their process and what makes the most sense for them.
Are there some salary structures where Bryce Harper would make a lot of sense for this franchise, both from a baseball and marketing standpoint? Yeah, Bryce Harper makes a lot of sense as a Giant, but from what I understand, and I don’t have this buttoned up, but from what I can gather they haven’t gone past seven years in an offer.”
If Harper does indeed sign elsewhere, what the Giants do to fill out their roster is anybody’s guess, including Baggarly’s. But based on the fact that the club doesn’t look all that different from the team coming off back-to-back losing records, it would stand to reason that Farhan Zaidi has something up his sleeve.
Listen to the full interview below.