The field competing for Bryce Harper’s services may have at least one fresh suitor in the Giants, who recently met with the outfielder as part of a late effort to gauge the possibility of signing him, according to NBC Sports and MLB Network. It’s unclear how serious they are about pursuing a lucrative deal with Harper, but NJ Advanced Media also reports that the Giants are “in the mix.”
The addition of the Giants to the group of teams pursuing Harper comes just weeks before the start of spring training. Previous reports had pegged the Phillies, White Sox, Padres and Nationals among the interested parties. Many of those same teams have been reported as being interested in free agency’s other big name, Manny Machado.
What happens from here with Harper and Machado is the biggest story in baseball entering spring training. The robust market the superstars expected to enter this offseason never came together, and now they’re running out of time before pitchers and catchers report.
The Giants were major suitors for Giancarlo Stanton last summer before his trade to the Yankees, as MLB Network points out, so it’s possible they have the appetite to make a big splash in free agency. Harper and Machado seem likely to sign for less than expected at the start of the winter, which could have teams re-considering whether to try to jump back into the fray.