MLB Winter Meetings Rumors: SF Giants in on Yamamoto, Ohtani

Dec 4, 2023, 9:54 AM

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 23: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a two-run home ru...

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

It’s quiet. Too quiet.

The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings are underway as executives, agents, media, players, and more have gathered in Nashville, Tennessee to jumpstart the offseason with signings and trades.

As of Monday morning, the biggest names on the free agent market remain on the board as teams continue to make pitches, schedule meetings, and make their case in luring talent to their respective ball clubs.

The San Francisco Giants are widely viewed as a team that will be aggressive and in the mix for star talent, especially following last winter’s failure in luring slugger Aaron Judge and shortstop Carlos Correa to the Bay.

Signings have yet to occur, but the rumor mill is beginning to churn at a high pace, meaning we could see movement at any time.

MLB Winter Meetings Rumors

Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Japanese star pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is preparing to meet with teams via Zoom over the next week, and Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle says that the Giants could have an inside edge on the three-time Pacific League MVP.

Nearly half of the league has called about Yamamoto, according to the Kyodo News, and executives from two teams who have had interest in him told the Chronicle on Sunday they believe the Giants have the edge.

Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle on San Francisco’s pursuit of Yamamoto – December 3, 2023

It’s no secret that Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi is looking to make a splash in Nashville, and bringing in Yamamoto would be a massive win, especially when you add in the fact that San Francisco can keep him from joining the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, who are also rumored to be very interested in the 25-year-old.

Yamamoto is widely viewed as the best pitcher on the free agent market after posting a 16-6 record and 1.21 ERA while striking out 169 batters over 164.0 innings in 2023.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the right-hander is expected to sign a contract near $200 million.

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The market is robust for Yamamoto, with the Dodgers, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, and Boston Red Sox also interested.

While many will vie for Yamamoto’s services, it appears that San Francisco is near the top of the star pitcher’s preferred destination list, although a decision on his MLB home isn’t expected to come until after the Winter Meetings.

Shohei Ohtani

All eyes are on two-time MVP and two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who many believe will sign with a team before the Winter Meetings conclude on Thursday.

According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Giants are still believed to be in the mix for Ohtani, though the 29-year-old’s camp has been tight-lipped on plans regarding potential meetings with interested teams.

It’s been clear from the start that Ohtani wants his free agency process to remain under wraps, and we’re nearing the finish line with no clear rumored front-runner.

While there is currently no indication on which team Ohtani is leaning towards, a decision appears to be close as MLB insider Jon Morosi expects a deal to take shape in the coming days.

There has been speculation that Ohtani’s preferred destination is the Los Angeles Dodgers, especially after the All-Star spent the past six years with the Angels, but there has been no indication whether or not that will come to fruition.

Zaidi and the Giants will be involved on Ohtani until the final bell sounds, and there have been several reports stating that MLB executives expect San Francisco to offer the most money to the reigning American League MVP.

If Ohtani does not sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers or Angels, some executives predict that he’ll end up signing with either the Chicago Cubs or Texas Rangers, while the San Francisco Giants will offer the most money.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale – November 12, 2023

More rumors. More uncertainty. Whether you love it or hate it, we’re at that time of the MLB offseason.

Buckle up, Giants fans. Clarity is on the way as San Francisco hopes to reel in a star for 2024 and beyond.

MLB Offseason Schedule

  • December 4-7th – MLB Winter Meetings
  • December 6th – Rule 5 Draft
  • Mid-February – Spring Training begins

SF Giants Schedule

  • February 13-15th – Pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training workouts
  • February TBD – Full squad workouts
  • Saturday, February 24th – Spring Training opener vs. Chicago Cubs

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