Time was of the essence last Friday, as the Giants made a move to acquire Chicago Cubs slugger Kris Bryant with just minutes to spare before the trade deadline.
There were rumors in the weeks leading up to the deadline, which intensified in the final hour of negotiations. With time running out, the Giants' front office kept their cool and pulled off the blockbuster trade that many had anticipated they'd make.
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi joined KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks" show to discuss the team's thrilling extra-innings win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, and their recent pursuit and acquisition of Bryant.
“He was certainly a guy that we kept an eye on," Zaidi said of Bryant, "Not just as the deadline crept closer but really in the weeks leading up to it. Obviously, the relationships Scott [Harris] has with the guys in Chicago, and Jed Hoyer, in particular, allowed those guys to keep in touch.”
Chicago ended up dealing all three cornerstone pieces in Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez. Before the Giants acquired Bryant though, the Cubs were looking to package their former NL MVP with other players on the roster.
“The Cubs made a lot of deals, it was a complicated deadline for them," Zaidi said. "I know they were looking at scenarios and we subsequently heard publicly about some scenarios where they were thinking about packaging multiple players and then Kris [Bryant] was potentially going to be in one of those deals.
"I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our deal is the last one they made once some of those package deals were off the table and they found deals they liked for the other guys. It sort of cleared the way for us to really be able to focus in on each other.”
The deadline crept closer and closer until there was just a few minutes remaining before the clock struck 1:00 p.m. PST. So how last-minute was the Giants' trade for Bryant?
“It was in the last hour," Zaidi revealed. "We were joking that when we sent in the paperwork to MLB with 15 minutes left, we were like ‘Well, what are we going to do now?’ Because in 2019, we actually took things down to the last minute or two and you had guys fumbling over their keyboards trying to submit emails to MLB. We got it done really comfortably with a pretty good buffer. Then we just kind of stared at each other for the last 15 minutes.”
It was a long day for Zaidi and the Giants' front office. After hours of negotiations and emails, their hard work had paid off.
“I will say, the minute after the deadline, everyone was like ‘Man, I’m starving,' ” Zaidi said with a laugh.