met in the free agent slugger’s hometown of Las Vegas this week Adrian Gonzalez Jersey , and new San Francisco baseball operations chief Farhan Zaidi said the sides had mutual interest.Zaidi, the club’s new president of baseball operations, would not say whether an offer was extended to the star outfielder. The Giants still hope to add two outfielders.A fan posted that he had spotted Giants CEO Larry Baer in the Bellagio on Monday night.“It’s kind of hard to deny when your CEO gets made in the casino,” Zaidi said with a chuckle Friday. “There’s obviously mutual interest on both sides, so we thought it made sense to get together. We had a good conversation over a few hours and he’s obviously got a lot of suitors and a lot of interest. He’s going to have some decisions to make, but again I think it’s fair to say that was an expression of our interest level to make the trip out there and meet with him.”Zaidi said background discussions led to the meeting: “We didn’t just show up at his doorstep.”“Having kind of a face-to-face meeting gives you kind of a different level of being able to engage,” Zaidi said. “Can’t exactly deny that the meeting happened. But beyond that, not really going to have comment on the substance of the meeting beyond that obviously we have interest. You don’t make a trip out there to meet with a player just for show.”While cautioning that he is not familiar with negotiations, Commissioner Rob Manfred is eager to see some of the game’s big names with teams for spring training.“We want players signed, particularly star players,” Manfred said. “I wish they were signed and ready to go. We got another week before they have to report. I’m really hopeful that it’s going to get resolved during that period of time. But obviously we want our star players signed and ready to go when we start playing.”Also Friday Jose Bautista Jersey , Zaidi confirmed the Giants agreed to a minor league contract with 35-year-old catcher Rene Rivera. San Francisco wants to add depth behind Buster Posey, who is healthy following season-ending right hip surgery in late August. Rivera batted .233 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 33 games between the Angels and Braves last season. If added to the 40-man roster, Rivera would get a one-year contract paying $1.3 million in the majors and would have the chance to earn additional performance bonuses.Posey, for one, is ready to play with Harper if the Giants can somehow pull off acquiring him.“Yeah, sign him up!” Posey said. “What team out there wouldn’t want a Bryce Harper, a Manny Machado or a lot of free agents out there? I think as players that’s what we, from the time you’re 5 years old, you aspire to play against the best competition, whether it’s in your Little League game or your high school, college , the big league level. As a fan myself and fans that come to the game or watch it on TV, when the Giants are playing X, Y and Z, fans to say ‘We’re going to get the best competition, we know that we’re going to get to see a great game tonight.'”Notes: The Giants said Derek Law and John Andreoli cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento. Both are scheduled to attend big league camp as non-roster invitees. The Cubs do look like a good team. Heck, they're the best in the NL Central as far as FanGraphs' projections are concerned.But now for the catch: Chicago's 87-win projection is the lowest of the six expected division winners and only eight wins better than the worst projection in the NL Central.The division breaks down like so:Chicago Cubs: 87-75St. Louis Cardinals: 86-76Cincinnati Reds: 81-81Pittsburgh Pirates: 80-82Milwaukee Brewers: 79-83The obligatory disclaimer is that these projections aren't gospel. Yet if they sell anyone in the NL Central short, it's not the Cubs but the Brewers, who won 96 games last year.The NL Central would look different if teams were mimicking the inactivity on the north side of Chicago. Instead, they've been loading up on new talent and, with it, new wins above replacement:The Reds figure to get plenty out of Yasiel Puig Devin Mesoraco Jersey , Matt Kemp, Sonny Gray, Alex Wood and Tanner Roark. The Cardinals should get their money's worth out of Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew Miller. In Milwaukee, Yasmani Grandal is the big new addition and might even be underrated by WAR.As for the Pirates, they project to get more out of Lonnie Chisenhall (0.9 WAR) than the Cubs will get out of Descalso and Brach (0.7).In the NL West, the Los Angeles Dodgers haven't wasted their offseason even as it's become clear they'll run unopposed in 2019. They've spent $80 million on A.J. Pollock and Joe Kelly.The NL East race has been infused with too many stars and too much money to count. They could even sign him for $17 million per year and still squeak under the $246 million threshold that triggers the harshest luxury-tax penalties.It wouldn't be the end of the world if the Cubs went over that mark. A franchise worth $2.9 billion and with its own TV network in the not-so-distant future can spare a few million dollars for the luxury tax. It wouldn't have to be a regular occurrence, either. The Cubs have a lot of money coming off their books after 2019.The alternative is that the Cubs stay quiet through spring training. They can claim they're leaving good enough alone, but they'll have to hope like hell their "good enough" is indeed good enough. Payroll data courtesy of Roster Resource and Cot's Baseball Contracts.