This offseason has been a difficult one for the San Francisco Giants. Going in, expectations were sky high that the Giants were going to kick the door in once free agency started and become a force in the National League once again. However, as December comes to a close, San Francisco only has Jung Hoo Lee (who is a fine player) to show for themselves this offseason. Yoshinobu Yamamoto spurning them was only the latest in a line of disappointments.
While it isn't known how much the Giants offered Yamamoto, it does appear as though they made a very compelling case to Yamamoto. Yoshinobu was reportedly very impressed with everything San Francisco had to offer and there weren't any "city-related" concerns or anything like that. In fact, Giants ace Logan Webb took to Twitter to set the record straight on what Yamamoto's decision came down to.
Logan Webb hints that Yamamoto was never going to sign with the SF Giants
When a team misses out on a free agency, many fans are quick to assume that it is all about the money or at least assume that the decisions are very black and white. If a team gets a guy, it is because that team offered the most money or blew everyone else away with what they had to offer. As Webb just reminded us, a lot of these decisions are influenced by simple preference and not a knock on the other teams that lose out.
Webb's response was to a litany of reporting recently that San Francisco went all out in their pitch for Yamamoto. He visited with a bunch of Giants executives and players, including Webb, and even went over to the Chase Center and played a bit on the Warriors' court. Yamamoto loved those visits, but he just wanted to play for the Dodgers and with Ohtani from the beginning and that is okay.
That said, the Giants fell short once again and that feels bad. Something is going to have to change for the Giants to be a destination organization for free agents because it doesn't appear to be a money problem. Perhaps it will be as simple as getting the roster in a better state where prospective free agents will feel more like they can be more competitive. For some players like Yamamoto who already have a new team in mind, it will always be an uphill climb.