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 ... 

Pablo Sandoval catches Gabe Kapler's eye on Giants' first day of live BP

Pablo Sandoval catches Gabe Kapler's eye on Giants' first day of live BP

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The first session of live batting practice drew a crowd, but for the Giants hitters involved, there wasn't all that much buzz. 

With Farhan Zaidi, Scott Harris, Gabe Kapler and half the coaching staff watching from behind the backstop, and the analytics staff set up to track pitch characteristics and swings, Brandon Belt stepped up to the plate and took a couple of walks. Buster Posey did the same, tracking pitches into the catcher's glove and then retreating to the dugout to tell hitting coach Donnie Ecker what he was seeing. 

And then Pablo Sandoval dug into the batter's box.

Sandoval swung at the first five pitches he saw from prospect Luis Madero, fouling a couple off and lining a couple into the grass. He was just as aggressive in his second session. When Kapler sat down with reporters a few minutes later, he was still laughing over Sandoval's mentality.

"I've never seen an approach to live BP like Pablo just took," Kapler said. 

The manager loved seeing it for a couple of reasons. First of all, Sandoval figures to be Kapler's top pinch-hit option for most of the year, in part because of that aggression. Kapler said earlier this week that he always feared seeing Sandoval step in when he was managing the Phillies, in large part because he knew Sandoval would be ready to do damage from the first pitch, unlike many hitters who like to first look at a couple offerings in the late innings. 

"It kind of demonstrates why he's so dangerous at the plate, because he's just prepared to drive every pitch," Kapler said. "Generally you calibrate one of two ways: By taking and seeing pitches, and the second way is by swinging at pitches -- and he just took aggressive hacks on everything that was thrown up there."

The second reason Kapler liked what he saw was health-related. Sandoval is well ahead of schedule in his rehab from Tommy John surgery, but he's still likely to miss the first month of the season as he works his throwing arm back into shape. The Giants have, though, discussed the fact that at some point they may have a tough decision to make. 

With a 26th roster spot, they could, in theory, carry Sandoval as he continues to rehab, using him only as a pinch-hitter. On Tuesday, as Sandoval hungrily went after two-seamers and changeups from Madero, he looked the part of someone who could be ready for a hitting-focused role on Opening Day. Kapler noted that Sandoval was "right on" every pitch.

[RELATED: The Giants will use in-game interpreter]

"He's been thinking about his swing for a long time and working on his swing for a while now," Kapler said. "It's going to be like a bit of a tricky puzzle, because we're going to want to get him reps at his pace earlier in camp, and at the same time we know that he's not going to be ready at the same pace as some of our other players. 

"We want to be respectful of the pace that he wants to work at, so we're going to have to weigh those two factors."

Buster Posey reacts to Giants not inviting Aubrey Huff to 2010 reunion

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Buster Posey reacts to Giants not inviting Aubrey Huff to 2010 reunion

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For two members of the 2010 Giants championship team, the trip to this summer's reunion won't be far. Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey still are here, and they'll be greeting old teammates -- almost all of whom long ago retired -- as the Giants celebrate the group that finally brought a title to San Francisco.

They won't be seeing Aubrey Huff, though. The Giants told their former first baseman that he will not be invited to the ceremony. A day after the news got out, Posey was asked what his reaction to that decision was.

"Well, I mean, it's tough," Posey said. "We all definitely accomplished something together, but the simple answer for me is -- I think you guys know -- how I pretty much stay out of anything that's not involved with baseball here on the field. That's kind of the way I'm going to leave it at and defer to the people that make the decisions, and I'll leave it at that for my end."

Posey did say that he was kept in the loop during the process and talked to higher-ups as they formed a decision. He was aware that Huff had been sending controversial tweets.

Asked what kind of teammate Huff was, Posey paused and said it's been a long time.

"It's hard to say. Things change, people change over the course of 10 years," Posey said. "When Aubrey was here, he kept it pretty loose, enjoyed playing the game, he was definitely prone to being a jokester at times."

[RELATED: Pablo 'won't be sad' Huff will not be at 2010 Giants reunion]

Posey said he did not plan to reach out to Huff. The other remaining member of the 2010 team, Sandoval, said earlier in the day that he "won't be sad" that Huff is not invited.

The Giants will honor the 2010 team on Aug. 16 at Oracle Park.