The San Francisco Giants made an impressive effort to secure Shohei Ohtani’s services, putting forth three contract offers, one of which was nearly identical to the record-breaking $700 million, 10-year deal he ultimately signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ohtani engaged in a two-hour meeting with Giants’ representatives, including Farhan Zaidi, Buster Posey, and manager Bob Melvin, on December 2. San Francisco adjusted and increased their offers to accommodate Ohtani’s preferences, ultimately presenting him with an offer that would have set a new MLB contract record.
Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations, shared during a conference call that their proposal was highly competitive and demonstrated their eagerness to secure Ohtani. He acknowledged that the Giants weren’t the only team to make a substantial offer to the Japanese star but wanted to showcase their strong interest.
While the Giants couldn’t show Ohtani around the San Francisco area due to restrictions, they recognized his preference for Southern California, making it challenging to reach an agreement despite their significant financial commitment.
As days passed without communication from Ohtani’s representatives after the Giants’ latest offer, concern grew within the organization. Ultimately, Ohtani chose to leave the Los Angeles Angels and join the Dodgers, finalizing the deal on Monday.
This isn’t the first time the Giants have pursued a major free agent. Last offseason, they missed out on Aaron Judge and opted not to proceed with a $350 million, 13-year agreement with Carlos Correa due to concerns stemming from a 2014 leg surgery.
When questioned about the similarity between the Giants’ proposal and the Dodgers’ offer, Zaidi confirmed that the structure and total compensation were nearly identical. However, he mentioned that all offers Ohtani received were in a similar financial range, and the Giants tried to stay in touch to improve their position in the pursuit.
Zaidi emphasized that this was an unusual deal, given the substantial deferred money involved, and acknowledged the competitive nature of free agency, especially when dealing with a generational talent like Ohtani. Ultimately, the decision came down to a player’s choice, and Ohtani had the luxury of exploring his options to find the best fit.