Giants

Bryce Harper's social posts about San Francisco show Giants might have a shot

Bryce Harper's social posts about San Francisco show Giants might have a shot

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants play in Major League Baseball's worst ballpark for left-handed power hitters. They have lost 187 games the past two seasons. With their future payroll commitments and poor farm system, there is a very real chance that they are two or three years away from being back in position to play postseason baseball.

There are a lot of reasons why the Giants are a poor fit for one of the best outfielders to ever hit free agency, but team officials believe there also are real reasons why Bryce Harper will consider settling down at AT&T Park.

Put the money aside for a moment. This organization has the wherewithal to make an appropriate offer to Harper, but that's not what the Giants will hang their hopes one. This is about something else.

[RELATED: Harper gets emotional after last game]

Bryce Harper likes San Francisco. 

That's the belief of team employees who have whispered his name over the past two years and hope he's the star of an offseason reload. A lot will go into Harper's decision, but at a basic level, the Giants know the Las Vegas native likes San Francisco and has enjoyed his time at AT&T Park, and that'll get them in the conversation for his services, at the very least. 

[RELATED: Giants given eighth-best odds]

You don't need to listen to them, though. Just look at Harper's social media history ...

View this post on Instagram

Nothing like SF! #BayArea

A post shared by Bryce Harper (@bharper3407) on

Sonny Gray traded to Reds in three-team deal after A's, Giants interest

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Sonny Gray traded to Reds in three-team deal after A's, Giants interest

Both the Giants and the A's reportedly had interest in acquiring Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray this offseason, but he won't return to the Bay Area. He will be heading to the Cincinnati Reds as part of a three-way trade.

Gray signed a three-year. $32-million extension as part of the deal, plus a club option . The Yankees originally received second baseman Shed Long and a 2019 competitive balance pick from the Reds for Gray and left-handed pitcher Reiver Sanmartin. 

But Jerry Dipoto wanted to be a part of it. The Mariners also traded Josh Stowers to the Yankees for Long.

Everyone caught up? 

Gray would have made sense for both Bay Area teams, as the Giants and the A's could use an influx of quality starting pitching. Gray went 11-9 with a 4.90 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 130.1 innings for New York last season, but he was far better on the road than he was at home. 

Considering Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Park are far more pitcher-friendly than Yankee Stadium, a bounceback season in the Bay Area certainly could have been possible. Alas, it appears Gray could be making his home starts at Great American Ball Park, which just might be the most hitter-friendly park in the entire league.

Why Josh Harrison would fit Giants but isn't perfect platoon partner

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Why Josh Harrison would fit Giants but isn't perfect platoon partner

With Farhan Zaidi now at the head of decision-making, the Giants want a more versatile roster. One player who fits the mold and has been linked to the Giants in recent months is Josh Harrison.

FanCred's Jon Heyman resurfaced the report Sunday, listing the Giants, Dodgers, Angels, Phillies and Rays as teams interested in the former Pirates second baseman. 

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has said he will embrace platooning players, and second baseman Joe Panik consistently has been talked about as a player the front office will look at as a left-handed hitter in need of a right-handed partner. 

So, could Harrison be the answer? Yes and no. 

Harrison, 31, certainly is the kind of multi-positional player Zaidi covets. While he spent 87 of the 89 games he saw in the field at second base, compared to just two at third base in 2018, he has played five positions -- second, third, right field, left field and shortstop -- over his eight-year career. 

The Giants could use Harrison all over the field, but is he the right platoon partner at the plate with Panik? Not exactly. 

Panik hit just .191 against left-handed pitching last season, compared to .282 facing right-handers. But Harrison, a right-handed hitter, also struggled mightily against left-handed pitching. He had reverse splits, hitting .262 against right-handers and just .219 against left-handers in 2018. 

Harrison's splits very well could be an outlier, though, making him more intriguing to the Giants. He hit .286 against left-handers in 2017, and is a .279 career hitter against southpaws. 

They'll have to hope his 2018 season isn't a sign for things to come, but Harrison makes plenty of sense for the Giants to at least entertain adding the utility man.