Giants

Bryce Harper's agent Scott Boras: California taxes factored in Giants talks

Bryce Harper's agent Scott Boras: California taxes factored in Giants talks

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants have always been very open about the issues their ballpark presents when they're trying to lure free agent sluggers, but they also have always been quietly concerned about the impact of California's state taxes. 

During an appearance on KNBR on Thursday morning, Scott Boras, the agent for Bryce Harper, mentioned the tax issue when asked how close the Giants came to signing Harper. 

"In a negotiation you try to put forth what Bryce's needs and wants were, and certainly the Giants took some great steps to look at that," Boras said. "It's difficult for a California team because of the tax issues when you're doing valuations and you're in competition with a team that has much more valued tax elements. There are economics involved."

Harper signed a record-breaking 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies, choosing the emerging NL East power over a pair of California teams -- the Giants and Dodgers. As NBC Sports Bay Area first reported, the Giants offered Harper $310 million over 12 years, but they would have had to go well over $330 million to make up for the tax difference. 

Boras said Harper likes San Francisco and strongly considered the Giants, and he credited Farhan Zaidi and Larry Baer with doing a good job of making their case. 

"The Giants are on of the best franchises in baseball," Boras told KNBR. "I think players are aware of that and because of that they get opportunities to get players like Bryce Harper to listen to them."

Boras shot down another theory about why Harper chose not to come to San Francisco, saying he wasn't concerned about the ballpark's pitcher-friendly dimensions. The agency ran a study that showed Harper would hit more home runs at Oracle Park than he did at Nationals Park because his swing strengths are to left-center field. (It should be noted that Citizens Bank Park is a much easier place to hit than Oracle or Nationals Park).

[RELATED: Bryce Harper becomes latest star to spurn Giants in recent years]

Boras, a Northern California native, said Oracle Park is his favorite ballpark, but there is one change he would make. 

"The bullpens are dangerous," he said. "Bryce Harper tripped over the bullpen in right and hurt his shoulder there. It's something where we've got to figure out a way to get the bullpens out in the outfield, maybe take that right-center (gap) and make that a little more hitter-friendly."

Evan Longoria reaches RBI milestone, leads Giants to sweep of A's

Evan Longoria reaches RBI milestone, leads Giants to sweep of A's

OAKLAND -- Bruce Bochy sat in the visiting dugout on Sunday morning and spent a few minutes reminiscing about some of what he has seen and learned while managing 4,000 games in the big leagues

Bochy, in his 25th season, is a picture of longevity. His roster is dotted with players who are #ForeverGiants. Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt all started Sunday against the A's, and none of them have ever known another uniform. Ditto for Madison Bumgarner, who took the ball Saturday. It's possible one or two of those guys may never play for a team other than the Giants. 

Because of all that, it's easy to forget sometimes just how long Evan Longoria has been doing this, and just how good he has been in his career. Longoria spent 10 years all the way across the country in Tampa Bay, making three All-Star teams and piling up down-ballot MVP votes. 

He's been a good big leaguer for a long time, and on Sunday, while reaching a milestone, he provided a reminder that he's still pretty damn dangerous with a bat in his hands. Longoria homered and later turned a deficit into a one-run lead with a two-run single, leading the Giants past the A's, 5-4

“Not too many people on this coast know how good a player Evan Longoria is,” said Stephen Vogt, his former Rays teammate and a longtime opponent. “We know how good he is.”

Longoria got to 1,000 RBI with a solo homer off Brett Anderson, his 17th of the season. He came up in the seventh with the bases loaded, one out and the A’s leading 4-3. Right-hander Blake Treinen had just won an 11-pitch battle with Buster Posey and Longoria jumped on the first pitch, smashing an elevated fastball to left to drive in a pair. 

"I figured he would try to get ahead," Longoria said. "I was staring at the six-hole (at shortstop), just telling myself not to get around (the ball). See it up. It's nice when you tell yourself something and it works out."

That was the case with the milestone, too. Longoria said he has spoken to Derin McMains, the team's mental skills coach, about setting goals. One of them this season was reaching 1,000 RBI. Longoria became the 291st player to drive in 1,000 runs in the big leagues and joined just 10 other active hitters. He should move up the active list pretty quickly. Longoria needs just one more RBI to catch Ryan Zimmerman, eight to catch Matt Kemp and 10 to catch Brian McCann. 

"I've been thinking about it for a while," Longoria said. "I'm just trying to go out and reach goals. You kind of incentivize yourself to go out. We're going out to play for the team and win, but it's kind of personally challenging yourself. It's a proud moment. It's not something I ever thought I would do."

The win clinched a quick two-game sweep of the A’s and put The Bridge trophy in the Giants clubhouse for the first time. They’re back to .500 with 32 games to play and still faintly alive in the wild-card race. 

[RELATED: Giants win The Bridge trophy with 5-4 victory over A's]

It would take a ridiculous finish to get there, but the players haven’t given in yet. They still believe they can get hot, and as Vogt said, few can get on a streak like Longoria can. He briefly carried the Giants in July and now looks set to try and do it again.

“He’s doing things he’s done his whole career,” Bochy said. “You look at what he’s been doing, and he had the setback with the injury, and he came back and he’s right on track. He kind of got lost in the shuffle here in these two games, but both games, we don’t win without him.” 

Giants win The Bridge trophy with victory over A's in series finale

Giants win The Bridge trophy with victory over A's in series finale

After spending a year in Oakland, The Bridge trophy is headed to San Francisco.

The Giants took home the trophy with a 5-4 win over the A's on Sunday at the Coliseum.

"Not going to lie, it's good to wear the orange and hold the trophy, so we'll keep it proudly," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy G after receiving "The Bridge" trophy from NBC Sports Bay Area and California's senior vice president and general manager Matt Murphy.

The Giants won the season series with the A's, 3-1. The A's could have kept the trophy with a win on Sunday, but Evan Longoria knocked in two runs in the top of the seventh to give San Francisco the win.

[RELATED: Everything you need to know about The Bridge]

Each team now has won the trophy once in its two-year existence.