Bryce Harper Rumors: Giants 'Very Impressed' by Star After Free-Agent Meeting

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 10: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals walks to the dugout against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning at Nationals Park on June 10, 2018 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants recently joined the Bryce Harper sweepstakes and left their meeting with the 2015 National League MVP "very impressed," according to Jon Heyman of Fancred.

That comes after San Francisco president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi let it be known the team has serious interest in the outfielder.

"There's obviously mutual interest on both sides, so we thought it made sense to get together," Zaidi said, according to USA Today's Jesse Yomtov. "We had a good conversation over a few hours and he's obviously got a lot of suitors and a lot of interest. He's going to have some decisions to make, but again I think it's fair to say that was an expression of our interest level to make the trip out there and meet with him."

Of course, it would be foolish for a franchise to not want a player of Harper's caliber on its roster.

Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs, 34 doubles and 100 RBI in 2018. While his average may have been lower than normal, he finished the season strong by hitting .300 after the All-Star break.

That second-half tear was ignited by an unforgettable performance in the 2018 Home Run Derby in front of the hometown crowd in the nation's capital:

Along with an MVP award and a Derby title, Harper has earned six All-Star selections, the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year award and a 2015 NL Silver Slugger. That's quite the resume—and he's only 26.

Meanwhile, San Francisco has missed out on the postseason in back-to-back years and won just 73 games in 2018. The offense ranked 29th both in runs scored and in home runs. With spring training right around the corner, the Giants' outfield is shaping up to consist of Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar and Austin Slater.

San Francisco may have to engage in a bidding war if it wants Harper. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported on Friday that Harper is seeking $300 million, with the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres among the teams also interested.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported in November that Harper had rejected a 10-year, $300 million offer from the Washington Nationals in September.

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