Newly appointed Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said today that the organization shares “mutual interest'” with free agent star Bryce Harper, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area was among those to report.
Zaidi acknowledged that he, CEO Larry Baer, and skipper Bruce Bochy recently sat down with Harper, Harper’s wife Kayla, and agent Scott Boras. There was no sense playing dumb on the subject. As Zaidi amusingly noted, Baer was “made in the casino” by an eagle-eyed fan during the visit to Las Vegas.
The mere fact of the visit itself largely made the point already, but it’s notable that the Giants are publicly discussing their ongoing interest. Zaidi called it a “good conversation over a few hours,” while Bochy labeled it “a great meeting” and heaped praise upon Harper.
While the seeming lack of widespread interest in the 26-year-old Harper (along with the similarly situated Manny Machado) has thus far been the story of the offseason, Zaidi did not drop any hints that the Giants were only swooping in to see if the price had dropped. That may have been part of the thinking, to be sure, but the top San Francisco baseball decisionmaker said that Harper has “a lot of suitors and a lot of interest” from around the game.
Pavlovic offers some other items of note as well, reporting that the initial meeting “lasted much longer than the Giants anticipated.” As Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio tweeted previously, Zaidi also met afterward with Boras on the latter’s private jet. (No word on whether Zaidi first tried to board the wrong aircraft.) While Zaidi acknowledged that Harper could make a decision in short order, the San Francisco organization has yet to formally put a contract in front of him. It stands to reason that it’ll do so in short order. It’s hard to know at this point how likely it is that Harper will choose to head to San Francisco, but it seems the organization is at minimum a viable suitor at this late stage of the process.