It’s way too early in... life.. to be writing such a post, but also, why not? There are already rumors swirling — thoughts in the ether — about the Giants being players in Bryce Harper’s pending free agency later this year. Just yesterday, John Shea spent a great deal of time going through the potentials of such a deal:
Can they afford him? The only two words you need to know: Mission Rock. Once the Giants start developing the 28 acres on the site of parking lot A, they’ll own two ATM machines, not just one. The stadium mortgage is paid off, and Forbes ranks the Giants fourth in franchise value (an estimated $2.85 billion), fifth in revenue and fourth in operating income. So, yes.
And Jon Heyman spent some time back in February pondering the possibility:
2. Giants. If the Dodgers can’t get it done, how about another team located in the state that borders on Harper’s home state of Nevada? The Giants have had some outfield issues, Andrew McCutchen is a free agent after the year, and they always seem willing to do what it takes to try to win.
Admittedly, the industry has latched onto this idea because of the above point by Shea: the Giants are an extraordinarily wealthy team who can easily afford to sign Harper to a record contract. But we know it will take more than money to get Harper.
Indeed, free agents do not want to sign with the San Francisco Giants, even when they offer more money. The Giants have been through the free agent pageantry a lot recently and I’m betting that they’re getting more clever with their pitches. Scott Boras is, of course, the cleverest of them all, and he reps Bryce Harper. But trying to outfox Scott Boras is a fool’s errand and something I don’t think the Giants would even try. I think they’ll be straight up with their offer. But what else could they include to sweeten the deal over the other poential suitors? Here are my three suggestions:
1. Give him 1 acre of Mission Rock.
Here me out! If the Giants add real estate to a deal, there’s no chance Harper’s dad and Scott Boras don’t pressure the kid into signing the contract. Bryce Harper will be 26 years old, and there’s a few things kids today have no concept of: 1) Real estate is valuable. Given that no American under the age of 35 will ever be able to own a home in their lifetime, having a piece of land, which will likely only increase in value for as long as he’s alive, makes him unique and a part of the landed gentry. And if it’s just being given to him, then it makes every penny after that even more valuable. 2) Owning waterfront property brings you one step closer to achieving Lex Luthor status, the goal of all capitalists. 3) Harper will be able to say that AT&T Park is literally his home base.
2. Build the wall...
Eno Sarris wrote in the Athletic back in December that getting rid of Triples Alley immediately makes it more attractive to free agent hitters, adding “AT&T would still be the pitcher-friendliest park in baseball, it would just be a normal pitcher-friendly park instead of the Death Valley that it is today.” So build a wall (aka move in the fences) and make Harper happy.
3. Win the World Series this year.
Bruce Bochy put it out there yesterday in his Twitter Q&A that a World Series win was this year’s goal. After everything that went down last season, he could’ve been sheepish about the whole thing and not even bothered to mention a World Series when answering a silly Twitter question. If the Giants go all the way this year, they can neg Bryce Harper in negotiations. We don’t actually need you. No bro wants to hookup with someone (remember, baseball teams are corporations and corporations are people) who’s clearly desperate. By simply playing hard to get, Harper will pursue the Giants.