MLB rumors: Bryce Harper 'back in the mix' with Giants in free agency

Dalton Johnson
NBC Sports BayArea

MLB rumors: Bryce Harper 'back in the mix' with Giants in free agency originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

The Giants' first spring training workout for position players is in less than two weeks. Will a former NL MVP other than Buster Posey join them? 

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We're six days into February and Bryce Harper still remains on the open market. Perhaps that won't be for much longer. 

A source has told NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic that the Giants met with Harper this week. It's believed that Larry Baer, Farhan Zaidi and Bruce Bochy were part of the contingent that flew to meet with the six-time All-Star.

Randy Miller of NJ.com reported earlier Wednesday morning that the Giants were "back in the mix" on Harper.

Signing Harper would certainly be a shift in strategies for Farhan Zaidi and the rest of the Giants' front office. As Pavlovic reported in November, the Giants' interest in Harper was far overblown, especially once Zaidi became the team's new president of baseball operations. 

"We're shocked" by some of the rumors, one person told Pavlovic, noting that Harper would have to "really, really want to come" to San Francisco and pass on more lucrative opportunities elsewhere.

Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, have been aiming for a contract well over $300 million. As we've seen in Zaidi's past and in the start to his Giants tenure, that doesn't appear to fit his style. 

But while the Giants have been quiet this offseason, perhaps they have been doing their homework and have been in touch with Harper behind closed doors. The closer we get to spring training, the more of a mystery this "hot" stove has become. 

[RELATED: Why Bryce Harper to the Padres actually would make a ton of sense]

The 26-year-old Harper hasn't been shy about his love for San Francisco, too. Although it is hard to be a home run hitter at Oracle Park -- especially hitting left-handed -- Harper has shown a fondness for the city multiple times on social media

Harper is a six-time All-Star as a member of the Washington Nationals and won the 2015 NL MVP, hitting .330 with 42 home runs and a 1.109 OPS.

He hit a career-low .249 in 2018, but came alive in the second half and finished the year with 34 home runs and 100 RBI.

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