Giants

MLB rumors: Cubs' Scott Harris named candidate for Giants' GM opening

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AP

MLB rumors: Cubs' Scott Harris named candidate for Giants' GM opening

Farhan Zaidi wore multiple hats in his first year as Giants president of baseball operations. One of them included being the team's de facto general manager. 

While Zaidi continues his search for a new manager to replace the departed Bruce Bochy, he also will hire a GM this offseason. There finally is a known name among San Francisco's candidates now, too. 

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday morning that Cubs assistant GM Scott Harris is a candidate for the Giants' opening. 

Chicago promoted Harris to assistant GM prior to the 2018 season after serving five years as the Cubs' director of baseball operations. He also worked for the Nationals and Reds in the past, and served as MLB's minor league operations coordinator before joining the Cubs in 2012. 

Harris earned his bachelor's degree in economics at UCLA in 2009 and received his master's degree from Northwestern's Kellog School of Management in 2015, but Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says he's much more than what you might see on paper. 

“He’s really bright and a really hard worker,” Epstein said to The Athletic's Sahadev Sharma last year. “He has a strong, well-rounded executive background. But you wouldn’t know by hanging around him. He’s not one of these guys telling you where he got his degree, that he went to business school, that he worked in the commissioner’s office, that he knows the rules better than you.

"He’s really easy to get along with, people like being around him and he just makes the group better by being a great team player. That’s super important. And it goes a long way. Especially if you’re going to move fast at a young age. People can be jealous of that and look for ways for you to piss them off.

"But it’s hard to find a way for Scott Harris to piss anyone off.”

[RELATED: Years after trade, Wheeler could be perfect fit for Giants]

As the Giants continue their rebuild, or "re-load" as they might call it, strong leadership at GM and manager will be crucial. Zaidi will zero in on candidates and Harris appears to be a strong one.

MLB rumors: Cardinals 'entering the fray' to pursue Madison Bumgarner

MLB rumors: Cardinals 'entering the fray' to pursue Madison Bumgarner

With the Winter Meetings rapidly approaching, MLB free agency is heating up.

One of the top available pitchers -- Madison Bumgarner -- is expected to be in high demand, particularly now that Cole Hamels has signed with the Braves and Zack Wheeler reportedly has agreed to a five-year contract with the Phillies. For teams who scoff at Gerrit Cole's price tag, Bumgarner might be the logical compromise.

The Giants have been "in communication" with Bumgarner, but rumor has it another interested team has entered the mix.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Thursday that the St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to Bumgarner, citing a source.

St. Louis already has brought back veteran Adam Wainwright on a one-year deal, and after he, Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson, there appears to be an opening for Bumgarner in the starting rotation. Signing with the Cardinals would not only allow Bumgarner to continue pitching in the National League, but would also allow him to continue taking his own at-bats, which we know he loves so much. He also has been linked to teams such as the Twins and White Sox, but would forfeit his at-bats to a DH in each of those situations.

[RELATED: How Wheeler's reported $118M contract could affect MadBum]

While Bumgarner is expected to receive a contract in excess of $100 million, Feinsand suggests Wheeler's reported $118 million payday might serve to increase the total.

MLB rumors: Yankees make signing free agent Gerrit Cole top priority

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USATSI

MLB rumors: Yankees make signing free agent Gerrit Cole top priority

Gerrit Cole is far and away the gem of the 2019 MLB free-agent class.

The former Pirates and Astros ace led the American League in both ERA and strikeouts last season and finished just behind teammate Justin Verlander in the AL Cy Young Award race.

The team that historically always has had the deepest pockets in baseball -- the New York Yankees -- have made Cole a priority in free agency, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Thursday, citing a source.

Cole is a Southern California native with familial ties to the Giants, a team that also features one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in the MLB. San Francisco also has been mentioned as a destination for the ace, who reportedly desires a return to the West Coast.

But if the Yankees, who always have jumped to outbid every other team for talent in free agency, decide to back up the proverbial Brinks truck for the 29-year-old, the Giants might be swiftly eliminated from contention for Cole.

Reports indicate that Cole’s price tag will “shatter” the record set by David Price when he signed a $217 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in 2015.

[RELATED: Report: Giants targeted UGA's pitching coach for same role]

While San Francisco has plenty of money to spend this offseason, it likely won’t engage in a bidding war that could approach $300 million.

Even if longtime Giant and current free agent Madison Bumgarner elects to go elsewhere in free agency, it remains to be seen how much money San Francisco would be willing to shell out for an elite talent like Cole in the heart of his prime.