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Monday, February 11, 2019

Opinion: Giants serious about Bryce Harper as late entrants into free-agent frenzy

The Philadelphia Phillies, who have been the favorites to land free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper all winter, suddenly have serious competition in the San Francisco Giants.

One high-ranking rival executive boldly predicts the Giants will ultimately sign the 26-year star.

The Giants indeed plan to offer Harper a lucrative short-term deal, but have no desire to provide a long-term contract approaching the 10-year, $300 million contract Harper rejected from the Washington Nationals in September.

RUMORS! Get your red-hot rumors here! RUMORS!

 

QLE Posted: February 11, 2019 at 05:25 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bryce harper, giants, hot stove

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   1. The Duke Posted: February 11, 2019 at 07:41 AM (#5814243)
A lucrative short term deal? Wouldn’t that bring about 20 teams into the process? Isn’t he looking for a lucrative long term deal?
   2. A triple short of the cycle Posted: February 11, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5814254)
Harper has been below average in three of last five seasons (by BBref WAR). I think Farhan is too smart to dig the Giants' hole even deeper, and this is just PR.
   3. Ginger Nut Posted: February 11, 2019 at 11:39 AM (#5814282)
Harper has been below average in three of last five seasons (by BBref WAR).


I'm ambivalent about signing Harper, but this criticism is a bit misleading. His BBref WAA for the past five years: -0.2, +8.0, -0.4, +3.2, -0.8. So when he's been "below average," he's been so close to 0 WAA that it's more accurate to say that he's been a roughly average player in his off years. How precise is WAA really? There is a margin of error. And in the last of those off years, he was only below average overall because of a really low dWAR number (-3.2), which is anomalous for his career (he is usually slightly above or below 0 for dWAR). He was +4.2 oWAR last season. Given that he will be 26 next season, I think the fact that his inconsistency means being merely average in his off years is a pretty solid resume, given how great he can be in his good years. I wouldn't give him $300M, but he would easily be the best hitter on the team if the Giants signed him, and given how pathetic their offence has been lately, he would make a significant difference.
   4. Jose Canusee Posted: February 11, 2019 at 09:38 PM (#5814492)
Check out Harper's stats at ATT Park https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.fcgi?id=harpebr03&year=Career&t=b
19 games. .164/.305/.288 BA/OBP/SLG. 2 HR
vs. SF total
37 games .237/.338/.412 5 HR so I estimate about .300/.370/.540 at home, pretty much in line with his general home stats so it's not like the Giants' pitchers owned him, he just didn't do well in that ballpark.
That would be the big issue SF would have to face, he could seriously improve their team and still look like a disappointment and unwelcomed by the fanbase, something like this guy who put up a couple of unappreciated 120+ OPS for bad teams in the 1970's.
   5. Bhaakon Posted: February 12, 2019 at 01:04 AM (#5814518)
We've seen high end FAs players, very rarely, take a one-year deal if the market isn't to their liking or there's some sort of questions flying about them. Irod in 2003 springs to mind. It's just that if he's willing to take that kind of offer, I have to imagine there are interested teams that are either legitimate contenders, play in a more favorable hitting park, or both.
   6. bbmck Posted: February 12, 2019 at 02:00 AM (#5814522)
Cot's AAV goes down to $17mil, the one year contracts are:

Roger Clemens, $28,000,022 (2007)
Josh Donaldson, $23,000,000 (2018) - Arb3
Josh Donaldson, $23,000,000 (2019)
Roger Clemens, $22,000,022 (2006)
Bryce Harper, $21,625,000 (2018) - Arb3
Yasmani Grandal, $18,250,000 (2019)
Roger Clemens, $18,000,000 (2005)

So prior to this off season per Cot's one person had ever signed a single year free agent contract for at least $17mil. I-Rod's $10mil single year contract is high enough that it would be on the Catcher AAV list but for whatever reason is not listed on the Cot's leader board. After Einar Diaz made Ivan expendable for Rangers he put up 0.2, -0.8, -0.7 and 0.1 WAR in the last 4 seasons of his career. I-Rod 4.5, 4.5, 2.8, 3.1 and then lost his motivation to excel once Einar retired and finished up 1.4, 1.7, 0.1, -0.1 and 0.4.
   7. Darren Posted: February 12, 2019 at 09:26 AM (#5814556)
What would an attractive short-term deal look like? 5 years, $200MM? 3, 150?
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: February 12, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5814561)
Check out Harper's stats at ATT Park https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.fcgi?id=harpebr03&year=Career&t=b
19 games. .164/.305/.288 BA/OBP/SLG. 2 HR


His complete line at the park is .191/.322/.318, 4HR. Still not good, but better when you add in the two playoff games he played there (if we're trying to guess how well he's going to hit at China Basin, then there's no reason to exclude those two contests).

   9. Lassus Posted: February 12, 2019 at 12:05 PM (#5814606)
Pretty sure "frenzy" is the exact opposite of what this free-agent market has been.
   10. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 12, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5814608)
Lassus is correct. How about "free-agent torpor".
   11. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 12, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5814638)
If we're going to use ballpark-specific small sample sizes, Harper should definitely sign with the White Sox, where he will hit 440/464/640 for his White Sox home games.
   12. TDF, trained monkey Posted: February 12, 2019 at 02:53 PM (#5814660)
I'm ambivalent about signing Harper, but this criticism is a bit misleading. His BBref WAA for the past five years: -0.2, +8.0, -0.4, +3.2, -0.8. So when he's been "below average," he's been so close to 0 WAA that it's more accurate to say that he's been a roughly average player in his off years. How precise is WAA really? There is a margin of error.
Why would you assume that the errors in WAA only undervalue Harper? If there is a margin of error, couldn't it instead be overvaluing him?
And in the last of those off years, he was only below average overall because of a really low dWAR number (-3.2), which is anomalous for his career (he is usually slightly above or below 0 for dWAR).
Just because it was anomalous doesn't mean it didn't happen; BBRef, Fangraphs, and Stat Cast all had Harper as one of, if not the worst OF in baseball last year.
He was +4.2 oWAR last season. Given that he will be 26 next season, I think the fact that his inconsistency means being merely average in his off years is a pretty solid resume, given how great he can be in his good years.
Again - you have to round up to say he was "merely average in his off years". If the errors are in the other direction (or even if WAA correctly reflects his value), then he hurts the team in those off years.

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