Giants make appeal to front office: Add more talent
SAN FRANCISCO – The franchise’s fans spent Saturday’s Fanfest asking if the 2019 roster will include new names in the near future. So too did many of the Giants’ key players. “With some opportunities out there to add a couple of more guys and seeing what’s going on within the division, I think it would be smart to pounce right now,” pitcher Jeff Samardzija said.
Pitchers and catchers report to the team’s Arizona complex Tuesday, but more than 80 free agents including star outfielder Bryce Harper remain available. New president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has ex-
pressed a desire to add talent in the outfield, but many Giants veterans hope they won’t have to wait much longer for their front office to settle on its plans.
“There are still some really big pieces out there,” third baseman Evan Longoria said. “I know that Farhan and (Bruce Bochy) and the front office is looking and hoping to add some more to our club. So there’s, I think, still some big moves to be made.”
Harper has attracted several different suitors this offseason, but the Giants are making a serious push to acquire the six-time All-star. The club needs youth, athleticism and power, and at 26, Harper represents the total package. Catcher Buster Posey asked “What team wouldn’t want Bryce Harper?” while center fielder Steven Duggar said, “It would be fun to play with him, that’s for sure.”
Even CEO Larry Baer spoke about Harper during a Q&A session at Saturday’s Fanfest, noting that a scheduled two-hour meeting with the outfielder and agent Scott Boras
lasted four hours on Monday in Las Vegas.
“I don’t know where we are (with Harper), but we’re giving it a shot,” Baer said. “That’s all we can do.”
Though the Giants may not be the front-runners to sign a free agent who could command north of $30 million annually, they’ve emerged as late contenders in the Harper sweepstakes. While some players aren’t sure what to make of the team’s interest, most are eager to have a player of Harper’s caliber on board.
“Obviously you want to improve your team and you’ll always take a Bryce Harper on your team,” Samardzija said. “Always, 100 percent.”
The fact that Harper, 26-year-old shortstop Manny Machado and several other high-profile free agents like starter Dallas Keuchel and closer Craig Kimbrel remain unsigned is alarming, and not just for the Giants. Though San Francisco has a recent track record of annually posting one of baseball’s biggest payrolls, players like Longoria and Posey are concerned that other franchises aren’t focused