The San Francisco Giants desperately need a figure who is in their prime to carry the torch of the franchise forward. Bryce Harper is that guy, and he needs the Giants just as much as they need him.
San Francisco Giants fans are rightfully getting impatient. It’s yet another slow moving offseason, and the roster looks bleak. The Giants are loaded with solid pieces everywhere, but nobody that truly puts them over the top and into contender conversations. Enter Bryce Harper.
Nobody is talking about the San Francisco Giants and Bryce Harper, except for Giants fans like myself. Why? Because of one of two reasons.
One, the Giants simply aren’t interested in the best free agent that will become available in the next 3-5 years. That’s understandable given their financial situation, both currently and in the future.
The other is that Farhan is biding his time and waiting to swoop in at the end once he knows the price it will be. The whole Bryce Harper saga is that it almost feels like if the Giants interest sky-rockets, they’ll end up bidding against themselves, especially with Boras running the negotiation show. I’d assume Farhan would love to land Bryce, but only for the right price. When it’s a less crowded market, the Giants have the ability to get had in negotiations, and if I’m Farhan, I find the set price, outbid it at the end, and walk away with Harper.
The San Francisco Giants need Harper. They need him both on and off the field. The franchise has been printing money since the ballpark opened, and they’ve got a lot of wealthy investors that would love to continue that. Harper draws attention like none other. I remember back in 2013 and 2014, the Giants weren’t all that hot and it was the beginning of the season. Bryce and the Nationals came into town and the park was full for the first time all season, and in the middle of the week no less. Bryce instantly raises the profile of the Giants by his gravitational star power.
On the field, putting Bryce Harper in between Buster Posey and Evan Longoria, or Brandon Belt instantly makes the Giants lineup something to worry about. Without Bryce, it’s a lot easier to navigate. But once Bryce is in there he’s guaranteed to hurt the opponent somehow.
Then guys like Posey, Longoria, Belt, and even Crawford can help continue the damage. Much like the dangerous “never get a break” Giants lineups of 2012-2014, Bryce returns that to the Giants. Remember, they don’t need to be a prolific offense with their pitching. They just need to be average and they’re guaranteed to be above .500.
Last year, we did a study midway through the season, and now with the full season results, we look the Giants record when giving up, and scoring a certain number of runs.
- In games where they scored three or less, their record was 21-69.
- In games where they scored at least four runs their record was 52-20.
- In game where they held their opponents to four or less runs they were 63-35, and there were 98 such games.
So when we look at it, in almost 100 of their 162 games, the Giants held their opponents to four or less runs. When they scored four or more runs they were 52-20. But if they scored three or less, they were 21-69. The Giant simply needed more offense for that pitching staff. Why not add the best offensive free agent in the class, and arguably the next three years?
Now let’s look at Bryce Harper. Why would he need the Giants? Well, if he came to San Francisco he’d be surrounded with a team just as talented, if not as talented as the Washington Nationals squad. He’d be the figure in the outfield, and he could play in right field, which he would absolutely dominate. He’d also be around for their best years, as a long term deal would certainly carry him through the “future” of the Giants. Further more, a stop like San Francisco is entirely different than a stop in Los Angeles.
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Does Bryce want the bright lights? The attention? Does he really want to join the Dodgers, who are going to find themselves in the Giants position sooner rather than later? Or does Bryce want to join the legacy of legendary, great outfielders the San Francisco Giants have had in their history.
On a hall of fame track, Harper has the ability to come to San Francisco and maybe end his career being held in the likes and esteem of a Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Mel Ott, and others. The Dodgers have their hall of famers, yes. But none are quite in the “pantheon” conversation like the Giants’ Mays, Ott, and Bonds.
Not to mention he could end up owning “McCovey Cove.” His quick and powerful left handed swing could be putting balls into the cove for many years, another thing that gets the Giants fans up and out of their seats.
So in 20 years, could we be saying, “Mays, Ott, Bonds, and Harper” when it comes to discussions about the Giants greats? We could. But that’s on the Giants to make it happen. Bryce has said he loves San Francisco, loves the atmosphere at AT&T, and loves how the fanbase rallies around. But he can’t be a part of it unless the Giants admit they need him.
It would be a match made in heaven. And it will remain so until Farhan, and the Giants step up to the plate.