Source: Giants' interest in top free agent Bryce Harper is overblown

Source: Giants' interest in top free agent Bryce Harper is overblown

SAN FRANCISCO — A few minutes after Farhan Zaidi finished his introductory press conference at AT&T Park, Scott Boras stood in front of reporters at the annual General Managers Meetings and discussed his biggest client, Bryce Harper.

Boras told reporters in Carlsbad that Harper is a “generational player” and said “Harper’s Bazaar has begun.” Zaidi will head down to Carlsbad later Wednesday night, and it’s possible he’ll get that pitch from Boras in person. But it doesn’t sound like it’s one that will win him over.

After two years of whispers about their chase for Harper, the Giants appear to have cooled off. Sources familiar with their thinking said any interest in Harper has been overblown. “We’re shocked" by some of the rumors, one person said, noting that Harper would have to "really, really want to come" to San Francisco and pass on more lucrative opportunities elsewhere.

That is not Boras’ style. He will go for the biggest deal every time, and Harper is believed to be aiming for a record contract well over $300 million. But giving out big deals has not been Zaidi’s style, and Giants CEO Larry Baer said he will not change the way Zaidi has operated.

“His success speaks for itself,” Baer said.

In Los Angeles, Friedman and Zaidi didn’t give out a deal larger than Kenley Jansen’s five-year, $80 million contract. Jansen already was a Dodgers star and fan favorite. Justin Turner, another All-Star already in-house, got $64 million over four years. When Clayton Kershaw threatened to opt out, the front office tacked on just one year, bringing him to three years and $93 million. Rich Hill got $48 million over three years. Brandon McCarthy got $48 million over four years. 

See a theme here?

During his press conference, Zaidi talked about potentially adding a starting pitcher. He said no move is too small, and he seemed particularly impressed by a past trade that brought MVP candidate Khris Davis to Oakland for two lesser-known prospects. Zaidi also said this when asked about the Giants roster:

“The No. 1 thing that stands out to me is the importance of selfless play in baseball. We’re in a baseball culture, at an amateur level, where there’s a little bit of a showcase culture and a lot of emphasis on individual performance over the team. I think when you can create a culture where players put team over the individual, that can be a competitive advantage. Ninety percent of the time, individual and team goals align. Sometimes (though) you need to move a runner over and have a long at-bat to tire out the pitcher. I’ve seen a lot of the guys on this team play for a long time, and they have that (team) spirit in spades.”

That is not, at all, a description of Harper or how he is being pitched in free agency. Some rival executives, while noting that Zaidi disdains massive deals, have pointed out that Baer and Giants ownership might overrule him. But Baer said he would trust his new head of baseball operations

“There’s no restrictions coming in,” Baer said. “Is that ($300 million player) going to be what’s the game-changer for the Giants in 2019, 2020, 2021 — I don’t know … we didn’t look at it as generic ‘no big contracts.’ He’s been successful in getting from Point A to Point B. We want him to go with what’s successful for him.”

The Giants have long felt Harper would like to play in San Francisco, and perhaps there’s a point where the price becomes acceptable. But the Giants do not currently feel the need to make a splash.

Zaidi was the splash, and they’re going to let him do what he feels is best to turn this organization back into a sustainable winner. 

How Oracle Park would look if left, right field features were flipped

How Oracle Park would look if left, right field features were flipped

We’re doing the best we can during an unprecedented time in baseball. That means, doing some things just for fun. 

MLB Cathedral on Twitter wanted to shake things up and give a photo overview of what Oracle Park could look like if it were shifted. That means the typical backdrop of the mitt and the Coca-Cola sign would be behind right field, with a lot of open space into the Bay on the left-field side:

That means when Giants' legend Barry Bonds would approach the plate, and hit all the home runs he did. 

Would he have been as successful with all of the extra objects in his way? More than likely yes. 

The best part is, we would still be able to see those fighting tooth and nail to snag one of his home run balls at McCovey Cove. Both in their kayaks, and without.

These changes won’t be happening to Oracle Park, but the team did announce the construction of some actual outfield changes for the upcoming season.

The bullpens will be moving from foul territory to the outfield which will cut down Triples Alley from 421 to 415 feet.

[RELATED: Mays, McCovey are Baer's two favorite Giants]

The bullpens will not be in center field on both sides of the garden.

Not quite the overall shift as portrayed in the MLB Cathedral post, but at least with the real changes, the lefties benefit.

Why Willie Mays, Willie McCovey are Larry Baer's two favorite Giants


Why Willie Mays, Willie McCovey are Larry Baer's two favorite Giants

Having grown up a Giants fan, CEO Larry Baer has seen just about every great player who’s donned on that cream jersey and taken the field in San Francisco.

Since first gracing the shores of the west coast in 1958, the Giants have won three World Series titles and seen a handful of players be named the National League MVP.

While on KNBR 680 earlier this week, Baer was asked to give his list of favorite three Giants players, something that the show’s hosts had been doing in a previous segment.

“The first two would be Willie Mays and Willie McCovey,” Baer said on the “Murph and Mac” show. “They were my childhood.”

[RELATED: What former Giants GM thinks of Bart-Posey comparisons]

Baer then took care to say there were plenty of names in a tie for that third spot.

“So Willie Mays No. 1, Willie McCovey No. 2, and [a] 238-player tie for third,” he jokingly said.

Mays and McCovey both won MVP trophies in San Francisco in the 1960s, and each now rightfully resides in Cooperstown as a Hall of Famer.

It’s safe to say every Giants fan can’t wait to return to the Plaza and Cove that bear their names and take in a game in person at Oracle Park.