The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes may or may not be reaching a conclusion. No one seems to know when a deal will get done. However, the SF Giants are reportedly among five teams believed to be finalists for the two-way star, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
SF Giants reportedly among 5 teams believed to be finalists for two-way star
The other four teams include the Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, and the Los Angeles Angels. To throw a wrench into the calculation, there could be a mystery team involved as well, meaning that there are actually six teams still in the mix.
While the recruitment for Ohtani has been extremely tight-lipped, at least three big-market teams are looking elsewhere at this stage of free agency. The position-player side of the market has been extremely sluggish and likely due to many teams, including the Giants, putting all of their effort into adding Ohtani.
The fact that all of these teams are mentioned is not necessarily new information. All five have been connected to the 29-year-old for much of the offseason. Heyman did add an interesting nugget that both the Giants and Blue Jays remain in the market for not only Ohtani, but Juan Soto as well.
The Giants and Blue Jays could assume the hefty price tag that would come with adding both players. That is extremely unlikely, but it does not hurt to try. It does feel like Toronto is poised to make a big splash this winter, so it is not surprising to see them involved in both markets.
However, it is even less likely that the San Diego Padres ship Soto within the division. They would have to be blown away with an offer and I just do not see a team like the Giants doing that.
More than likely, someone within the Padres' organization is using the Giants as leverage in trade talks with other teams. Every team around baseball knows that San Francisco is desperate for its next star player, so their name is going to be used a lot in that manner.
If the Giants somehow land Ohtani, it would not only be a huge addition to the on-field product, but it would give the Giants credibility around the baseball world yet again. Plus, the two-time MVP would be a huge asset in recruiting future free agents. The baseball world may have to continue playing the waiting game because it does not sound like the Ohtani talks will be wrapped up before the end of the Winter Meetings.