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How Machado impacts Giants' Harper pursuit

@mi_guardado
February 20, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Padres put the rest of the National League West on notice Tuesday after reportedly agreeing to a 10-year, $300 million deal with free-agent infielder Manny Machado. Could the Giants now counter by making a serious run at superstar Bryce Harper? The Giants have been linked to

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Padres put the rest of the National League West on notice Tuesday after reportedly agreeing to a 10-year, $300 million deal with free-agent infielder Manny Machado. Could the Giants now counter by making a serious run at superstar Bryce Harper?

The Giants have been linked to Harper throughout the offseason, and team brass traveled to Las Vegas to meet with the 26-year-old outfielder earlier this month. Still, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Tuesday that he will not be tempted to ramp up his pursuit of marquee acquisitions in an attempt to keep up with the Padres.

“I don't think it really changes how we're viewing our team, and what we might still do to it, especially when you start talking about a move that might not be just about 2019, but might impact your roster five years or 10 years out,” Zaidi said at Cactus League Media Day.

“You want to make sure you're making the right decision for your organization and not doing anything in a reactionary way.”

While the Phillies are viewed as the favorites to land Harper, the Giants remain in the mix for his services, according to multiple reports. The Giants are believed to have interest in Harper on a short-term deal, so it’s unclear whether they’d be willing to shift from that stance as negotiations begin to intensify.

Machado’s deal set a floor for Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, who will likely be aiming for Harper to top the record $325 million, 13-year extension Giancarlo Stanton received from the Marlins in 2014.

It seems unlikely that the Giants will be willing to enter that territory, though it’s worth noting that they were prepared to take on Stanton’s lucrative contract last winter before the slugger was dealt to the Yankees.

The Giants bolstered their outfield by signing veterans Gerardo Parra and Cameron Maybin to Minor League deals last week, but those moves won’t preclude the Giants from adding Harper. Zaidi said he continues to have conversations regarding free agents and potential trade targets, so he’ll be ready to pivot if Harper ultimately signs elsewhere.

“I actually think we feel pretty good, just from a depth standpoint of where we are,” Zaidi said. “At this point, I think any additions would be more about just improving our front-line roster.”

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.