SAN FRANCISCO -- As the Giants did their homework on Bryce Harper, they had a pretty good source to turn to. Former manager Dusty Baker managed Harper for two seasons in Washington D.C. and now serves as an advisor to team president and CEO Larry Baer.
During an appearance on MLB Network Radio, Baker said the Giants talked to him about Harper. The San Diego Padres, who no longer seem involved, also called for information. Baker apparently gave glowing reports.
Former #Nationals Manager Dusty Baker admits, "I don't know where [Bryce] is going," but also pours cold water on the idea of Harper signing a short-term deal. #SFGiants #Padres #Phillies #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/iv1vx2xl0b— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) February 27, 2019
"I enjoyed being around him," Baker said. "Like all race horses or all guys that have been in the headlines for a long time, there are some things that you love and some things that you kind of dislike, but that's all of us. You get paid to play. He's a good spokesperson for the organization."
Baker said some people from the Padres called and asked if Harper would be great for the organization.
"I said, 'Heck yeah,'" he told MLB Network Radio.
The Giants are believed to be one of three current finalists, along with the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers. As talks have picked up, the Giants have discussed a 10-year deal with Harper, sources told NBC Sports Bay Area.
Baker said he has no idea where Harper will end up, and he hasn't asked. But he believes the winner of this chase will have Harper for the long haul.
"Whoever gets Bryce is getting a heck of a player and for a period of time, because he hasn't really reached his prime yet," Baker said. "This guy is only 26 years old and has an MVP behind him ... I know he wants to start a family here soon so he wants some stability of area where you don't have to move around.
"I've been told that he wants to be a free agent one time in his career, so I'm sure that probably has a lot to do with his decision."