Amid speculation that the San Francisco Giants will make a major investment in free agency, Shohei Ohtani is reportedly at the top of their wish list, along with fellow Asians Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Lee Jung-hoo.
The overwhelming message coming out of the Major League Baseball General Managers’ meetings, which concluded in Scottsdale, Arizona, on April 10, is that not only the Los Angeles Dodgers but also San Francisco are ready to go “all in” on the Ohtani signing.
In an article titled “Giants prepare to go all-in on free agent Shohei Ohtani,” the San Francisco Chronicle, a leading San Francisco media outlet, reported that “San Francisco President Blue Zaidi was asked directly about signing Ohtani during an hour-long interview on Thursday, and Zaidi’s response was.
“Did anybody here answer that question?” Zaidi said, “We’ve gotten back to the principle that we shouldn’t comment on free agency questions. We didn’t do that last year and things went really wrong.”
Zaidi’s reluctance to comment on free agency stems from painful memories of last year. The Giants came close to signing Aaron Judge, the top free agent a year ago. Jersey, who grew up near San Francisco and was a childhood fan of Barry Bonds, made the Giants an offer they couldn’t refuse. Nine years and $360 million.
Jersey then contacted Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner on the spot, informed him of the news, and engaged in “cell phone renegotiations” to get the same deal. Eventually, Judge reunited with his original team, the Yankees.
San Francisco went to the negotiating table with free agent shortstop Carlos Correa shortly thereafter, agreeing to a 13-year, $350 million deal. The Giants tried to renegotiate, but the New York Mets got in the way after medical tests ahead of his introductory press conference showed a high likelihood of recurrence of the leg and knee injuries he suffered in the minors with the Houston Astros. Correa opted out of the deal with the Mets for the same reason and signed a heavily reduced six-year, $200 million deal with his original team, the Minnesota Twins.토토사이트
Zaidi can’t bring up the subject of Ohtani directly without licking his wounds from missing out on two big-name free agents, which means he’s committed to signing him.
In fact, many of those in attendance at the general manager’s meetings have pointed to San Francisco as a possible destination for Ohtani. “The Giants are a great fit for Ohtani,” one agent told the San Francisco Chronicle, “the Rangers are building a powerhouse, the Dodgers are obviously at the center of the conversation, and the Yankees are always a team that does things, so you have to keep an eye on them. Ohtani will go where he wants to go.”
Another agent said, “The Dodgers are the favorites, but it depends on what he wants. The Mets are a possibility, and (Angels owner) Art Moreno isn’t going to sit on his hands. He’s got a history of investing a lot of money in big free agents,” he said, adding, “I think the Giants have a lot in store for him. Geography is very important.” The implication is that Ohtani has an affinity for the West Coast, which is relatively close to Japan.
His contract is expected to be worth at least $50 million. Sports Chosun DB
San Francisco has also made a significant commitment to Yamamoto, who is considered the best starting pitcher in Japanese history. MLB.com reported on Dec. 12 that “Zaidi flew to Japan with his aides to see Yamamoto pitch. The O’s are expected to post Yamamoto for assignment soon.
The Giants picked up right fielder Michael Conforto’s $18 million player option for next year. Left fielder Mitch Haniger is entering his second season of a two-year, $28 million contract. His salary next year is $20 million. The middle infield, however, is still without a starter. Luis Matos, Mike Yastrzemski, and Tyler Fitzgerald are behind him. They need a center fielder who can bat, and Lee fits the bill.
Yamamoto’s price tag is expected to be over $200 million, and Lee’s price tag is expected to be over $50 million, meaning the A’s would need to spend at least $750 million to acquire Ohtani, Yamamoto, and Lee. Will San Francisco be able to land the “big three” from Asia as planned?