When the Giants tried and failed to convince Giancarlo Stanton to accept a trade to San Francisco last winter, the real driving force behind their effort was not Larry Baer, the team's chief executive officer, nor Brian Sabean, who heads up baseball operations, nor former general manager Bobby Evans. The primary source of enthusiasm seems to have been 85-year-old owner Charles Johnson.
Johnson is well aware of how the signing of Barry Bonds was a turning point in the franchise's history. Bonds reached an agreement with the Giants in December 1992, at age 28, and for whatever else is said about Bonds, he delivered power and fans for the team. He hit 586 homers in 15 seasons, and in those years, San Francisco opened a new ballpark and usually ranked among the MLB leaders in attendance -- home and road. Sources say that Johnson was all-in on the idea of adding Stanton, who had a full no-trade clause and turned down a chance to be dealt to San Francisco.
Which brings us to Bryce Harper.