Giants

MLB rumors: Bryce Harper has made his decision, says D.C. radio host

MLB rumors: Bryce Harper has made his decision, says D.C. radio host

A report has come out from the East Coast saying Bryce Harper has come to a decision on which team he will play for in 2019 and beyond.

Chris Russell, a sports radio talk show host from 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C., (who has been on the Harper beat for some time) said the free agent slugger could make a decision in the next 24 hours.

"Maybe I took a little bit of a leap of faith here based on some indications I got from a real good source," Russell told 94WIP, in Philadelphia, on Friday.

"Bryce and his representatives, (Scott) Boras, his people, his wife Kayla, they've been meeting since Monday morning in Vegas. Bryce originally wanted this done, when it took this long, by Valentine's Day. Obviously, the contract has not been announced, signed, or whatever."

"But I'm led to believe by the people that I've talked to that are close to the situation -- and I have, again, a real good source that has helped me through this process, let's just leave it at that," Russell said. "That Bryce was in a mood to celebrate yesterday. Now, the source said, 'I believe it's done.' I don't have concrete, 100 percent proof for you guys. I wish I did, otherwise, I would have it and I would be running around with it. But I don't have that, so I want to caution everybody in Philadelphia. But that's what I was led to believe, that this thing is now decided."

Russell then mentioned the Phillies.

"Now, what comes then is hammering out a contract. And if we were to believe the report that the Philadelphia Phillies had not even extended a formal offer -- and I assume that to be a termed, written agreement, that type of thing, which I find hard to believe -- then there might be more legwork to this. And therefore, hey the decision may be done, but the contract still needs to be ironed out."

[RELATED: Phillies fan participates in "lent" in hopes of recruiting Harper]

Russell is being safe with the terminology he's using, which is understandable. And while we haven't been able to confirm these rumors, Harper, along with many other free agents, remains unsigned.

The Giants appeared to be the "mystery team" that introduced themselves late into the Harper sweepstakes -- and when the radio hosts asked Russell his opinion on where the outfielder will end up next season, he believed Harper will be in an orange and black uniform.

"I don't think it's going to be the Nationals," Russell said. "I think it's going to be the San Francisco Giants, but that is not by any means an 'I know that for a fact,' so I want to caution everybody -- I know how this works -- I get in trouble with everything I say on my radio show, and everyone blows it up." 

The wait continues ... 

Giants miss out on sweep ahead of huge series vs. Cubs at Wrigley Field

Giants miss out on sweep ahead of huge series vs. Cubs at Wrigley Field

PHOENIX -- On days like this, Giants manager Bruce Bochy often says "you like to get greedy." Madison Bumgarner nodded as those words were repeated to him Sunday afternoon.

The Giants took three of four in Phoenix, which was good work given their spot in the NL wild-card race. They moved a game ahead of the Diamondbacks, one of many teams they're battling for two spots. But it was hard not to feel a bit disappointed given that they went into the fourth game with Bumgarner on the mound and lost 6-1

"We'll leave here feeling good because we did take three of four from a team we're chasing. We keep doing that, I think we'll be okay," Bumgarner said. "But at the same time, everyone here -- especially me -- wanted to come away with a sweep."

The Giants had not lost with Bumgarner on the mound in nearly five weeks. The lefty hadn't taken a loss on his record since June 20. But the Diamondbacks scored three in the first and got four in six innings against Bumgarner.

There were two key plays in the loss, one on defense and one at the plate.

With runners on the corners and two outs in the first, Adam Jones hit a sinking liner to center that looked like a hit off the bat. But Kevin Pillar has made a habit of coming out of nowhere for a diving catch, and he got a good break on the ball, which had a hit probability of 73 percent. 

Pillar's diving effort came up about two inches short and the Diamondbacks scored a pair. Jones would score on a single. 

"He makes a lot of unbelievable catches and I want him to try to do that," Bumgarner said. "I was glad to see he tried to go for it instead of trying to play it on a bounce. I like the aggressive play. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't in this game."

The Giants had a chance to get back into the game in the sixth when Mike Yastrzemski tripled and a single and two walks loaded the bases. The Diamondbacks brought lefty Andrew Chafin in to face Brandon Crawford, who had five hits in 19 previous at-bats against Chafin.

Bochy had Evan Longoria on the bench and could have pinch-hit the righty while sliding Donovan Solano from third to short, but he stuck with Crawford, who is batting .224 on the season and came out early on a double-switch the other night. Crawford grounded out. 

"His numbers aren't bad off (Chafin). It's two outs and I'm trying to stay away from Longo," Bochy said. "Hey, he's gotten a lot of big hits for us. I'm not going to quit on him now."

The finale was rough, but the weekend was still a good one for the Giants. Their problem right now is that good may not be enough. Two of the teams they’re chasing won while the Giants were on the field. They’ll now visit the Cubs, who occupy the second wild-card spot.  

The Giants will go with Tyler Beede, Dereck Rodriguez and Jeff Samardzija at Wrigley Field this week. They'll face Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks. 

[RELATED: Bergen DFA'd; Giants to keep Webb in rotation for now]

"They're all big. We've got to win games. We're the ones who are behind," Bochy said. "It was a good series. You come in here and take three out of four, you've got to feel good about that. We lost this one but you take three out of four, you'll take that.

"We'll head to Chicago, take a day off and regroup, and it's going to be another big series."

Giants DFA Travis Bergen; Logan Webb will pitch in Bay Bridge Series

Giants DFA Travis Bergen; Logan Webb will pitch in Bay Bridge Series

PHOENIX -- The most notable part of a roster move made Sunday may have been a player not actually listed in the move.

To clear a spot for Abiatal Avelino -- a needed fourth bench player for Bruce Bochy -- the Giants designated left-hander Travis Bergen for assignment. They kept Logan Webb around, lining the 22-year-old up to face the A's next weekend in Oakland. 

Manager Bruce Bochy said he doesn't have his rotation set yet, but Webb is in it for now. Tyler Beede, Dereck Rodriguez and Jeff Samardzija will start in Chicago this week, followed by Bumgarner and Webb in some order, it seems. 

Webb gave up just two runs through five innings in his debut Saturday night. The Giants need the help, as Shaun Anderson will make at least one rehab start before returning from a blister. 

[RELATED: 'Tough mentality' early helps Giants' Logan Webb earn win in MLB debut]

Bergen was one of five lefty relievers in the bullpen and the move marks the end of a long look for the Rule 5 pick. The Giants parted with their other Rule 5 pick, Drew Ferguson, in spring training, but Bergen made the Opening Day roster and threw 21 times while spending plenty of time on the Injured List. He had a 5.49 ERA. Bergen must now be offered back to the Blue Jays.

"You look at the bullpen and the one we felt we could afford to lose at this point -- we didn't want to -- was Travis," Bochy said. "The young kid did a nice job at times. I know he spent time on the IL. We just couldn't find a way to keep him."