The San Francisco Giants just received the gut punch that they have been hoping not to get since the off-season began.
Bryce Harper is a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, and not the San Francisco Giants.
Fans, like myself, have been trying to speak it into existence for a couple of seasons now, and the fact it is actually over still seems almost anti climactic.
Harper had sent subtle signals in the past that he liked the idea of living and playing in San Francisco. Giants fans have been anticipating the 2019 off-season for years, hoping to land the power hitting outfielder when he became eligible for free agency.
With every article suggesting that Harper was not re-signing in Washington, Giants fans became more and more excited at the possibility.
Over the last two seasons, the Giants seemed to play themselves out of the race for Harper by losing.
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After missing the playoffs each of the last two years, there was clear thought that the Giants should begin to rebuild.
The idea that Harper would want to come to a team in the middle of a rebuild seemed unlikely. Then San Francisco hired Farhan Zaidi to run the Giants baseball operations. That seemed like a clear signal that the team would not pursue big free agents like Harper.
So far this off-season, Zaidi has shown a much different approach to free agency. Re-signing Derek Holland to a below market one year deal, and signing Drew Pomeranz and Pat Venditte to near minimum deals is not exactly what Giants fans are use to.
Former general manager, Bobby Evans, signed several free agents to big contracts, including Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, and Mark Melancon. He also swung and missed at trading for Giancarlo Stanton, signing Shohei Ohtani, Jon Lester and Zack Greinke in past years.
Much of those deals and those offers seemed to come from ownership, willing to spend big on big time free agents.
Ownership has clearly stepped in once again. What had been a slow, calculated off-season involving guys like Mike Gerber, Drew Ferguson, and Breyvic Valera has been a harsh change from what Bay Area fans are used to.
There is no guarantee that Harper will be the missing piece to guarantee a championship for Philadelphia. What it has done is made Giants fans breathe a huge sigh of relief that at least it wasn’t the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Considering franchise player, Buster Posey, hoped they would do more this off-season when speaking to the media at Fan Fest, I’d say this will be taken hard in the locker room. However, at least it’s not the Dodgers.