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Inside Bryant's 'really excited' first call with Zaidi, Giants

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Kris Bryant was atop the Giants' list of available bats for weeks as the trade deadline approached, representing needed right-handed power but also the versatility this front office and coaching staff can't get enough of. Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris went hard after Bryant, finally locking up a deal as the 1 p.m. PT deadline approached on Friday. 

Zaidi was thrilled to add Bryant to the team that has the best record in baseball, and he felt even better about the move after talking to Bryant. The two had a brief phone conversation Friday after the deal was finalized. 

"He could not be more excited to be a Giant," Zaidi said. "I've had a number of these calls after trades with players and I've never spoken to a player more excited to be coming to a new organization. That makes you feel even better about the deal."

The enthusiasm certainly helps, particularly given what Bryant has gone through recently. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and helped them end their curse, but it has been expected all season long that the Cubs would sell, and that became a given over the last week. 

The Cubs ended up cleaning house, sending Anthony Rizzo to the New York Yankees, Javy Baez to the New York Mets, and spreading others across the league. Bryant was the last big name to go, helping the Giants make one of the bigger moves of the week. He's expected to be in San Francisco on Saturday and could be in the lineup at third base right away. He'll play every day, rotating from the infield to the outfield to fill gaps. 

 

"We just feel like he's the perfect fit for our roster, getting another middle-of-the-order right-handed bat, and not just a guy who can move around but actually likes moving around on the field," Zaidi said. "Obviously he kind of fits the ethos of our roster really well."

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Zaidi credited Harris for helping push the deal across the finish line, noting his relationship with Cubs executive Jed Hoyer made a difference. He said it was "late in the game" that the Giants finally agreed to terms, sending Alexander Canario and Caleb Kilian the other way, but that was fine. After the deadline passed, Zaidi, Harris and manager Gabe Kapler reached out to their new star, who mentioned that he grew up a huge Barry Bonds fan and viewed the Giants as his top destination once it became clear he was being traded. 

"A lot of times you talk to players after a trade like this and, understandably, their heads are spinning," Zaidi said. "They're wondering how they're going to get their families there, when they're going to get there, when they're going to be in the lineup. I think he had a sense something was coming and for him to wind up somewhere he's really excited to be coming, that is where it was a little bit less of a head-spinning conversation and more of someone who is just really excited to be coming here."

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