The offseason has not officially begun, but the Bryce Harper rumors will continue to swirl. However, that may not be the case for the San Francisco Giants.
If Bobby Evans was still the San Francisco Giants general manager, we know he would pursue Bryce Harper as a free agent. Evans pursued just about every big name free agent over the past three years.
Evans’ track record was not great for reeling in his prime targets. He did, however, succeed in pivoting from his primary target to his secondary targets well.
So, we know if Evans was in charge, he would have made a big push for Harper. When Harper signed elsewhere, Evans would pivot to A.J. Pollock. This is exactly what would happen.
However, we cannot know exactly what the new general manager, Vice President of Baseball Operations, Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise, or whatever the Giants call the position will do. This could take the Giants out of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.
To add to this, Alex Pavlovic and Ahmed Fareed note that the internal chatter for Harper has subsided within the Giants organizations in recent months. This makes sense for a number of reasons.
First, the San Francisco Giants look to be further away from contention than just a Bryce Harper. Adding Harper would solve one of their corner outfield spots for the foreseeable future. However, the Giants have more than one hole to fill this offseason.
Adding a player like Harper would certainly take most, if not all, of the $40 million the Giants have available to spend this offseason. Pavlovic hinted that the Giants may be a tad reluctant to spend all of what is available.
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So, if the Giants were to sign Harper, there would not be any money available to bolster the rest of the roster. This is problematic given the current state of the Giants roster.
The second issue with signing Harper is the immediate target it places on the incoming Vice President of Baseball Operations. This would likely be the defining moment in the executive’s tenure, and signing Harper right out of the gates might distort his or her overall performance.
If the signing does not work, then that would be bad news for the executive. It would assuredly lead to a dismissal. Ultimately, it would be a lot of pressure for an incoming executive to reel in Harper as the first major move and so quickly.
If we combine the lack of recent internal chatter about Harper with the hints that the Giants may not be willing to spend all of their available money, then it seems likely that the Giants may be cooling on Harper.
And, that’s okay. With how the season ended, it seems the Giants have more work to do than just adding a Bryce Harper.
This does not mean they will not spend in free agency or be aggressive on the trade front. Rather, it means that the San Francisco Giants have a lot of work to do this offseason, and signing Harper might limit their flexibility in patching together a viable roster.