SF Giants Free Agency Rumors: Shohei Ohtani & Cody Bellinger
Nov 14, 2023, 9:51 AM | Updated: 9:53 am
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
The MLB offseason has gotten off to a very slow start, but that means that the fireworks are near as we inch closer to the Winter Meetings.
Players, general managers, agents, and plenty of media will descend on Nashville, Tennessee, from December 4-6 as some of the biggest names on the free agent market are expected to come off the board.
All eyes are on megastar Shohei Ohtani this winter as the two-way phenom is in the market for a massive payday from one lucky team.
Many MLB general managers believe that Ohtani will ink his next contract during the Winter Meetings, and once Ohtani signs, the floodgates will open as the market will be set.
Will the San Francisco Giants throw their hat into the Ohtani race? Are there other free-agent rumblings surrounding the Giants?
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) November 12, 2023
SF Giants Free Agent Rumors
Speaking of Ohtani, insiders believe that San Francisco won’t shy away from offering the 29-year-old the most money of all interested teams.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported this week that while some executives believe that Ohtani will remain in Los Angeles (with either the Dodgers or Angels), the Giants are expected to offer the largest contract.
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.
Former MLB general manager and current analyst Jim Bowden shared a similar sentiment during an interview on MLB Network Radio this week, stating the Giants could drive the “financial train” for Ohtani.
San Francisco has failed to sign a notable free agent for years, with attempts to sign Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, and Carlos Correa falling short.
While Ohtani might prefer to live elsewhere outside of the Bay Area, it’s looking like money will not be a reason why the superstar will choose another franchise to play for in 2024 and beyond.
Once Ohtani comes off the free-agent board, Bellinger will take center stage as the top bat on the market.
Bellinger, who enjoyed a return to form in 2023 following a rough stretch from 2020-22, will seek a lengthy contract in what could be the 28-year-old’s lone chance at securing a hefty pay-day.
After batting .307 (career-high), hitting 26 home runs, and driving in 97 runs while cutting down on his strikeouts, Bellinger is an enticing option for a Giants team that has lacked stability in the outfield.
San Francisco has lacked a power bat for nearly 20 years, as no Giant has finished a season with 30+ home runs since Barry Bones hit 45 long balls in 2004.
Nightengale listed the Giants as one of three favorites to sign Bellinger in free agency, with Bellinger’s most recent team, the Chicago Cubs, also expected to be in the market for outfield help.
The New York Yankees are widely viewed as a team that will be aggressive for Bellinger’s services, though San Francisco has more financial flexibility–especially if Ohtani signs elsewhere.
MLB Offseason Schedule
- November 6th – MLB free agency begins
- November 17th – Non-tender deadline
- December 4-6th – 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