If there's one guy who knows how to lighten the mood during an emotional press conference, it's Farhan Zaidi.
During Buster Posey's press conference at Oracle Park on Thursday afternoon where he announced his retirement from MLB, Zaidi, the Giants' president of baseball operations, cracked a few jokes while expressing his sentiment towards Posey and his tenure with the team.
When discussing his initial interactions with Posey after joining the Giants in 2018, Zaidi told a story of a time when former manager Bruce Bochy was preparing to retire. Zaidi saw Posey's name floated as a possible replacement in the form of a player/manager, and joked that the move could have saved the team money in their previous pursuit of 2019 free agent Bryce Harper.
"I think as a lot of people would attest to, I think you know, Boch and Kap, as two of your managers, they would say they didn't just view you as a player, but as a thought partner," Zaidi said. "And you know, I think that's a really high compliment ... You know I probably got a little too comfortable with it too fast because I remember a couple months after that first conversation, this was Boch's last year and Vegas was starting to have some fun with it in terms of who the successors might be.
"They started posting some odds, and I remember one book came out with odds that had Buster as a 10,000 to 1 odds to become a player/manager. I saw that. I kind of circled it. I shot a text over to Buster and I said, I just figured out how we're going to pay for Bryce Harper. And in typical Buster fashion, he was like, that's funny, but I'm actually a better candidate than some of the people with better odds than me."
Harper inevitably signed a massive 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies in the spring of 2019. The Giants offer was reported to be a 12-year, $310 million contract. They certainly made an aggressive, generous offer for Harper, who inevitably decided to take his talents to the City of Brotherly Love.
Fortunately for the Giants, they found success without Harper's services, finishing the 2021 season with a franchise-best 107-55 record, while the Phillies failed to make the playoffs, posting a record of 82-80.