San Francisco Giants cannot afford to be outbid for Bryce Harper

Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images /

San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi needs to give his team a fighting chance for Bryce Harper against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bryce Harper will make a decision and sign with someone eventually. Teams have started to play actual baseball games, but Harper remains on the market. With the season right around the corner, it seems like the superstar’s free agency should be coming to an end soon with him likely choosing one of the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, or Los Angeles Dodgers.

Throughout the free agency period, he’s been linked to several teams with varying and fluctuating likelihood. Almost immediately, he rejected a reported 10-year, $300M deal from the incumbent Washington Nationals, who recently announced they were pulling out of the race. More than a handful of other teams have been rumored to try to offer Harper a short-term contract, which, as of the latest reports, he wasn’t interested in.

The Phillies have been there throughout the entire period, remaining the favorites to land him for the majority of it. The Giants briefly catapulted to the top but were overtaken by the NL East foe. It has seemed to be a two-man race for quite some time now, but the Dodgers are making a late push.

Jon Morosi of the MLB Network reported that the Dodgers were planning to make a run at Colorado Rockies star Nolan Arenado, but in light of the eight-year extension he just signed, Los Angeles is turning its attention elsewhere. Per Morosi, the Phillies are concerned that if the Dodgers offered him a contract similar to the one that they are proposing, he would join them because of their proximity to his hometown of Las Vegas.

The Dodgers were previously considered one of the teams that would prefer to have Harper ink a short-term deal but now seem open to committing to him for more years. The Giants cannot let themselves be outbid by their rivals for the former MVP.

San Francisco is in a transition period where the wins have been few and far between. Farhan Zaidi is starting his tenure as the team’s president of baseball operations. Getting outbid by the Dodgers, who have won two NL pennants in a row, would not be a great start.

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The Giants generally prefer to spend big money on retaining their own players. Perhaps a string of poor sizeable deals, like Barry Zito‘s and Aaron Rowand‘s, have dissuaded the franchise from pursuing expensive free agents. Still, the Giants have seemed to be aggressive in the Harper sweepstakes.

If Harper goes to the Phillies, who are looking to take a big leap with him onboard next year, then so be it. The Giants are too far from contention for an up-and-coming NL East team to be too much of a concern for them.

If Harper were to be seriously considering the Dodgers, that’s a problem. At just 26 years old, he could terrorize the Giants for the better part of the next decade. Harper could very well be leaning towards taking his talents to Southern California, but San Francisco shouldn’t go down without a fight.

Wrestling Harper–who would conceivably be hitting his prime by the time a Giants rebuild is ready to carry the team back to relevancy–away from the Dodgers would be a nice win that could be the beginning of a long road to a transition of power between the two rivals.

Zaidi needs to win the fans and the organization over. And while they aren’t in a position to win a World Series right now (even with Harper), backing down from the Dodgers who are a late-entry would probably not go over well. Now is the time to be aggressive and show everyone that you have the ability to land superstars and a desire to win.

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Harper might have already signed by the time you read this, but one can hope that Zaidi gave the team a chance. He should not let himself be outbid by the Dodgers.