Surprise team not heavily involved in potential SF Giants starting pitching target


The SF Giants have been rumored to be among the teams involved in the market for NPB hurler Shōta Imanaga. However, the New York Yankees are one team that might not be heavily involved in Imanaga, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Surprise team not heavily involved in potential SF Giants starting pitching target

According to Heyman, the Yankees do not see the left-handed pitcher as a fit because he is more of a flyball pitcher and that would not fit well in the relatively small confines of Yankees Stadium. The expectation is that they will pivot to Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, or the trade market.

Interestingly, Heyman does identify the Giants, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and others as potential suitors. This could very well be the case, but the Red Sox have conveyed that they are planning to slash costs following the Chris Sale trade, per Chris Cotillo of MassLive.Com.

On the other hand, the Cubs made one of the biggest early splashes of the offseason by hiring Craig Counsell to a five-year, $40 million pact. It was an unprecedented signing for a baseball manager and one that could pave the way for more lucrative deals for managers in the future. Since then, they have not made an addition to the 40-man roster. However, they did add a former Giants pitching prospect to a minor league deal earlier in the offseason.

Does that mean that they will not be involved in the Imanaga market? Not necessarily. Perhaps, they targeting their spending for the right fit and feel the 30-year-old pitcher is that right fit.

That does not mean the Giants are the favorite if the Red Sox or Cubs are out, either. I am looking at how those teams have operated this winter.

The veteran pitcher is expected to score a deal in excess of $100 million. The Giants have been in the market for a frontline starter and he would fit that description. Imanaga is coming off of a solid 2023 campaign in which he posted a 2.66 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 10.6 K/9, and a 7.83 SO/W ratio across 24 starts. In eight seasons with the Yokohama Bay Stars, he has posted a 2.96 ERA.

The Bay Stars posted Imanaga at the end of November and his 45-day posting window runs through January 11, 2024. One way or the other, a decision on him is due soon and the Giants appear to be somewhere in the mix. At the very least, it does not sound like they will be competing with the Yankees in this market.