The SF Giants plan to be in the mix for two-way star Shohei Ohtani and the private courting could have already begun. How serious of bidders do the Giants expect to be?
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Giants will offer the most money for Ohtani. Similarly, Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio echoed similar sentiments, saying that he believes that the Giants could drive the "financial train" for Ohtani.
The odd timing of the latest rumors between the SF Giants and Shohei Ohtani
This is great news if you are a Giants fan and you want your team to land arguably the biggest free agent in baseball history. It will not come cheap as many predict that the 29-year-old star could land a deal, conservatively, in excess of $500 million.
There was just something odd about the timing of these national analysts saying this about the Giants. The oddity is that they were both published on Sunday morning and within 90 minutes of each other.
I should add that both Nightengale and Bowden are very much in tune with what is going on around baseball. If they say something, it is usually based on some type of substance.
With that being said, they are not the most reliable sources either. They have been on the wrong end of a rumor time and again. Oftentimes, they are echoing what a team or agent says as a way to create a narrative. If either one of them pulled me aside and told me to order a pizza, I might seriously consider a salad instead. I do not know why either one of them would be telling me to do such a thing, but you get the point.
So, it is odd that at the beginning of free agency, this narrative is being made public that the Giants will not be outbid for Ohtani. This sounds eerily similar to the Aaron Judge rumors from last season.
I want to reiterate that there could be some truth to these rumors between the Giants and Ohtani. It is very possible that they make largest offer. You can only control what you can control, and if they make the best offer, then they have put their best foot forward.
However, Ohtani is represented by CAA Sports, which tends to put more value into qualitative factors like geography and competitiveness than agencies like the Boras Corporation. The Boras Corporation shrewdly gets their players to sign with teams that offer the most money more often than not.
In the same piece from Bowden, he highlights that Ohtani is looking for the best chance to win. With teams like the Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, and Los Angeles Dodgers in the mix, it is going to be tough for the Giants to sell Ohtani on their winning culture. They have had just one winning season since 2017.
Building a more competitive roster is something that the Giants could have better controlled prior to the season. And, if the Giants make the best offer, but Ohtani spurns them to go to a more proven winner, they really can only blame themselves.
So, I have no doubt that the Giants will be in the mix for Ohtani. Though, the timing of the reports from less credible sources like Nightengale and Bowden makes me wonder if the Giants are already putting out a narrative of trying their best. It feels like this information is being manufactured in a sense and only time will tell if that turns out to be correct.