Farhan Zaidi Was Giants' Leading Advocate in Bryce Harper Pursuit

Entering the offseason, the Giants weren't expected to be in the market for the upper-tier free agents.

That mindset obviously changed, as San Francisco was in on Bryce Harper up until the end when he reportedly agreed to a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies on Thursday.

So, what gave? What changed in the Giants' collective mindset that coerced them to push their chips in on Harper?

Apparently, it was their new president of baseball operations' idea.

"First of all, Farhan (Zaidi) was the leading advocate for Harper, not the other way around," Giants CEO Larry Baer told The Athletic on Thursday night. "We wouldn't have gone with it if he didn't think it was a good baseball move. And we did believe this would have been a good baseball move."

"This wasn't in the plan originally," Baer added, "and Farhan said, let's go for it."

Farhan Zaidi, of course, joined the Giants by way of the Dodgers, and one has to wonder if he's bringing an LA mindset to San Francisco. The rival Dodgers also were in on the Harper sweepstakes, reportedly offering him a shorter-term, record-breaking contract that he similarly passed up.

"He came on board in November, and he wanted to evaluate the organization," Baer said of Zaidi. "He wasn't saying no to Harper as much as taking the time to evaluate our needs. And sometimes these deals go fast. Patrick Corbin went off the board fast. As the market evolved, we looked at some of the options out there in free-agent moves and trades, and this was still out there, and it became attractive."

Attractive as it might have been, the Giants ultimately lost out on Harper, who will remain under contract with the Phillies through the 2031 season.

That means it's time for Zaidi and the Giants to switch gears and get back to work. Spring training is ongoing, and the start of the season is right around the corner. Zaidi is expected to meet with reporters Friday to provide an update on San Francisco's roster and perhaps offer a further explanation as to the team's change in mindset regarding Harper.

Of course, someone -- or rather -- some band might be one step ahead of them at that point, as Zaidi relayed in a text message.

[RELATED: Smash Mouth has a lot to say about Harper-Giants rumors]

"Sorry, I'm giving Smash Mouth the exclusive."

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