MLB’s annual winter meetings are fast approaching, and things are heating up.
As baseball fans are glued to their phones all weekend for an update on two-way phenomenon Shohei Ohtani, ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Basson Ohtani shared some new details on what’s left of the sweepstakes.
While some potential suitors have backed away from bidding and others are persevering in landing the Japanese superstar, the Giants’ pursuit of Ohtani is far from clear.
“It would be foolish to count out any high-revenue team, however now the field for Ohtani’s services has been won,” Basson announced Friday morning. “The Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets, who were in the initial group, have turned their attention to other players, sources said. Among those confirmed by sources to still be bidding: the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays and Angels.
“The San Francisco Giants have long been in love with Ohtani, though it’s unclear where they stand in this sweepstakes.”
The unknown is definitely not out. The Giants may be reticent to respect Ohtani’s desire to keep free-agent meetings private. Passan said last month that if any meetings with teams were leaked, Ohtani would hold them against the organization.
Far from a secret, however, is Ohtani’s interest in San Francisco.
The Giants weren’t shy about being willing to go “all in” on the former Los Angeles Angels star. MLB Network’s John Morosi reported that the Giants are “putting their whole heart and finances” into landing Ohtani or another top free agent, pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Ohtani was unanimously named the American League Most Valuable Player after his dominant two-way 2023 season. It was the second time in three seasons that he won the AL MVP unanimously, the first two times in MLB history that he won the unanimous MVP.
The 29-year-old reportedly could sign as soon as or before the MLB Winter Meetings Dec. 4-7 in Nashville.
The Dodgers have long been considered the favorite to sign Ohtani, but as of now, it’s anyone’s game.