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Warriors' Steve Kerr recruits Bryce Harper for Giants

By
Alex Butler
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr added himself to the Bryce Harper recruitment team by asking the slugger to come to the Bay Area before a game against the Miami Heat on Sunday in Oakland. Photo by Larry W. Smith/EPA
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr added himself to the Bryce Harper recruitment team by asking the slugger to come to the Bay Area before a game against the Miami Heat on Sunday in Oakland. Photo by Larry W. Smith/EPA

Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr is lobbying for Bryce Harper to join the San Francisco Giants.

Kerr made his plea for the prized free agent before the Warriors edged the Miami Heat 120-118 on Sunday in Oakland. Harper has been linked to a bounty of teams this offseason, but the Giants recently emerged as an interested party. The former Washington Nationals slugger visited with front office executives last week.

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"Bryce, come to the Giants. Let's go," Kerr told reporters, as he held up his thumbs.

"That would be fun," Kerr added. "I would love it if Bryce Harper came here. Does my opinion count here?"

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A high-ranking executive told USA Today that he predicts the Giants to sign Harper. A source told USA Today that the Giants plan to offer a lucrative short-term deal to Harper but "have no desire" to approach the 10-year, $300 million numbers the slugger rejected in September for the Nationals.

Giants CEO Larry Baer told reporters that the meeting with Harper lasted four hours.

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The Giants are one of the franchises located closest to Harper's home in Las Vegas.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters that their is "mutual interest" between the Bay Area franchise and Harper.

"There is obviously mutual interest on both sides," Zaidi said. "We thought it made sense to get together. We had a good conversation over a few hours. He's obviously got a lot of suitors and a lot of interest. He's going to have some decisions to make."

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Zaidi added: "I think it's fair to say that was an expression of our interest level, to make the trip out there to meet with him. You don't make a trip out there to meet with a player just for show."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy and agent Scott Boras joined Harper and his wife at the meeting.

The Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres have also been linked to Harper this offseason, with varying levels of reported interest in the 2015 National League MVP.

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