Bryce Harper
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Giants meet with Bryce Harper

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Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that multiple members of the Giants front office met with Bryce Harper this week. That includes team Chairman Larry Baer, President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi and Manager Bruce Bochy. The meeting took place in Harper’s hometown of Las Vegas.

The Giants, who are in a transitional period following 98 and 89-loss seasons, have not committed to a full-blown rebuild like some losing teams have, but their recent hiring of Zaidi at least suggested that they would take a slower approach as they attempt to return to contention. As it is, their only offseason additions this winter have been Derek Holland, Drew Pomeranz and Pat Venditte, which is not exactly a case of the Giants setting the world on fire.

Still, Harper is a generational talent and, assuming the Giants’ timetable is only a couple of years rather than, say, five years, it would make a lot of sense for them to be interested in a player like Harper to build around. Or retrench around. Whatever you wanted to call it.

As for Harper, whether he’d be interested in going to San Francisco is an open question. It’s certainly a great baseball town with an ownership group which has shown it likes to spend money. The issue is whether he’d want to go to a place where, at least for the short term, the road to contention seems rocky.

Lucas Giolito earns second shutout of season

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The Twins have arguably baseball’s scariest offense. Their average of 5.87 runs per game is second only to the Yankees (5.90) while leading the league in slugging percentage (.501), OPS (.840), and home runs (244). White Sox starter Lucas Giolito made their offense look impotent on Wednesday, blanking them over nine innings for his second shutout of the season. The White Sox won 4-0.

Giolito allowed just three hits and walked none while fanning 12 batters over his nine innings of work. He’s now 14-6 with a 3.20 ERA and a 194/51 K/BB ratio in 151 2/3 innings on the season. Giolito is very much in the AL Cy Young Award picture. The Astros’ Justin Verlander leads the league in ERA at 2.81. A strong finish to the season for Giolito could certainly see his ERA dip below 3.00.

As mentioned, Wednesday’s shutout was Giolito’s second of the season. He and the Indians’ Shane Bieber are the only pitchers with multiple shutouts this season. They are two of only 21 pitchers with a shutout.