San Francisco Giants Rumors: Bryce Harper signing a real possibility?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 25: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals bats against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on April 25, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 25: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals bats against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on April 25, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The latest San Francisco Giants rumors suggest a recent meeting with Bryce Harper could actually lead to a pact being signed between the two parties.

If I would have told you at the beginning of this MLB offseason that, on Feb. 6, we would still be discussing Bryce Harper rumors, you would have thought I was crazy. Frankly so would have everyone that had any sense, but here we are. Harper is still unsigned, and a rumor of another suitor came to light yesterday.

Early Wednesday morning, it was confirmed that Harper did meet with San Francisco Giants representatives on Monday, including Larry Baer, Farhan Zaidi, and Bruce Bochy.

The specifics of the meeting are unknown, and there is no way to tell if this was just a due-diligence meeting seeing what Harper’s market and interest levels are, or if this was a legitimate attempt to reel in one of baseball’s best players. If their interest is real, Harper would bring star-power to a Giants team that could desperately use an outfield bat.

Currently, San Francisco has Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Mac Williamson, and Austin Slater as their likely outfielders on their Major League roster at the beginning of the 2019 season. It is safe to say that is not a great thing. Adding Harper to this group would be an insurmountable addition, and give the Giants a pretty nice top of their batting order.

Now it’s no surprise that adding Harper would make the Giants a significantly better team, but how realistic is the possibility of the team signing him? Well, first we have to look at the payroll side of things.

According to, the Giants currently sit at $168,409,667 for their 2019 payroll, but it is not that simple. San Francisco still has some players who are not ready for arbitration and non-guaranteed contracts, and these salaries are estimated to be around $9 million dollars total. This would put the Giants payroll in the range of $179-180 million, and only give them roughly $25 million to work with before they go over the luxury tax.

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Even with Harper’s market not playing out the way most people assumed it would, thinking someone could get him for $25 million or less AVA per season seems ludicrous. So if the Giants are serious about getting Harper, they likely will have to go over the luxury tax.

Now going over the tax would not be the end of the world for San Francisco, the team that does have starter Madison Bumgarner‘s deal coming off the books next season, and a $6.5 million club option on lefty Derek Holland. Essentially, the team has ways to be flexible with their money.

For the Giants and Harper, the biggest gap to hurdle before bringing him to San Francisco may be the years on the contract. It seems very unlikely the Giants would be willing to offer Harper an eight- to 10-year long-term deal but seem they would be more in the neighborhood of a three- to five-year deal.

Reports have surfaced in recent days that Harper may be considering a shorter-term deal with the market just not playing out the way he and agent Scott Boras have hoped, but there is no real traction as to whether that is true or not.

In the grand scheme of things, San Francisco seems like a destination that would be a perfect fit for Harper. The team has a history of winning, an all-time manager in Bruce Bochy, veterans on the roster that could make them an immediate contender, and close proximity to his hometown of Las Vegas. The real question is, do the Giants believe Harper is a once-in-a-generation talent that is worth breaking the bank for?

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Harper’s market is so unclear at this point there is no real ability to gauge a favorite or pick where he will likely end up. However, in the end, it will likely come down to who offers the most money. If they make a very competitive offer and are willing to commit to Harper long-term, I think there is at least a  decent chance he is a Giant next season.