SAN FRANCISCO -- The chase for Bryce Harper still includes both sides of one of the game's best rivalries.
The Giants have insisted in recent days that they believe they're still in on Harper, even with the Dodgers becoming more serious, and they backed that up by meeting with the slugger this week, according to Kerry Crowley of the San Jose Mercury News.
Harper hosted CEO Larry Baer and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi on Tuesday in Las Vegas, according to Crowley.
This would be the second known meeting between Harper and the Giants. Earlier in February, Baer, Zaidi and Bruce Bochy traveled to Las Vegas to meet with Harper, his wife Kayla, and agent Scott Boras.
The Dodgers sent an impressive contingent, including president Andrew Friedman, manager Dave Roberts and members of the ownership group, to meet with Harper over the weekend. Also over the weekend, Harper had yet another meeting with Phillies owner John Middleton.
The Phillies are still the favorites for most in the game, but the Giants and Dodgers are hoping to convince Harper to play close to his Las Vegas home. It's unknown what the two sides are offering, but the Giants have made at least one offer to Harper.
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The Giants have been focused on shorter deals, but they also know that the market has shifted. After Manny Machado signed a $300 million deal with the Padres, a source said the Giants were under the belief that nothing under that would get it done. Nolan Arenado's extension on Tuesday further reset the market, and it's possible Harper will now also aim to set a new record for average annual salary. Arenado is the new record-holder at $32.5 million per season.
Go ahead and add another name to the candidacy list to take over the Giants' managerial role after Bruce Bochy announced his retirement following the 2019 season.
San Francisco reportedly has asked the Houston Astros for permission to speak to Joe Espada, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Espada also is a candidate for the Cubs' managing job.
Espada, 44, currently is the bench coach for the Astros. His background before joining Houston includes a stint with the New York Yankees as the special assistant to general manager Brian Cashman in 2014, where he later was named the team's third-base coach. Before that, he was the third base coach for the Miami Marlins.
He also coached the Puerto Rican team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Espada was drafted by the Oakland A's in the second round of the 1996 MLB Draft and spent a decade playing internationally and made it through to Triple-A.
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He joins a list of potential Giants managers that includes Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler and A's quality control coach Mark Kotsay ... to name a few.
As Heyman points out, this is a younger group of candidates, which appears to be the theme across the board for Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.
There surely will be many more names to come before we know who will man the Giants' dugout in 2020.
A new name has been added to the running list of candidates to be the next Giants manager.
The Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin reported Thursday that the Giants are interested in Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro to fill their managerial opening left by Bruce Bochy's retirement.
Quatraro, 45, was named Tampa Bay's bench coach prior to last season. He spent the 2018 season as the Rays' third base coach after four seasons as the Indians' assistant hitting coach.
The Indians ranked fifth in MLB in runs per game (4.6) during his time in Cleveland and fifth in on-base percentage (.327). By comparison, the Giants ranked 28th in the majors last season in total runs scored (678) and in on-base percentage (.302).
While Quatraro doesn't have managing experience in the big leagues, he has managed in the minors. Quatraro managed two seasons in Short-Season Class A Hudson Valley (2006-07), one season for Class A Columbus (2008) and one season for Class A Bowling Green (2009). '
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Quatraro joins known Giants candidates Hensley Meulens and Ron Wotus, Mark Kotsay, Pedro Grifol, Gabe Kapler and Wil Venable to possibly be the next manager in San Francisco.
President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi will search far and wide, and Quatraro seems to check every box he's looking for.