All along, the Giants have been viewed as a short-term solution for Bryce Harper. That’s not actually the case.
The Giants and Harper’s team have discussed a 10-year contract, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned. That would match the deal the Padres gave Manny Machado earlier this month and likely give Harper a chance at the record dollar figure he has been seeking.
Harper turned down a reported $10-year, $300 million offer from the Nationals at the end of the season, and the widespread belief since then has been that the Phillies are his best bet at a long-term deal. The Giants met with Harper in early February and were believed back then to be involved in case the slugger sought a short-term deal that would keep him on the West Coast. The Dodgers are thought to be in the same situation.
But the Giants, who met with Harper again Tuesday, per the San Jose Mercury News, are not afraid of a long-term deal. A year ago, ownership pushed hard for Giancarlo Stanton, and his contract runs through 2027.
Harper, still just 26, likely would seek opt-outs that would allow him to hit the market again during his prime years. But even then, the Giants view him as an ideal piece to add to a core they believe in.
Most of that core is locked into long-term deals, which is why the Giants preferred smaller contracts most of the winter. They have not handed out a deal lasting more than one year thus far, but Harper is a different kind of talent, and if he is in San Francisco long term, the Giants eventually will be able to balance their payroll.
Jeff Samardzija and Mark Melancon come off the books after the 2020 season, and Evan Longoria is the only Giant signed past 2021.