The Giants are one of seven teams remaining in the chase for Shohei Ohtani, the “Babe Ruth of Japan” who will consider signing a free-agent deal with every West Coast team except the A’s.
Ohtani’s representatives informed the Giants, Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Mariners, Cubs and Rangers that they are the finalists for the star pitcher and outfielder.
The hype for the 23-year-old isn’t just bluster. He’s a two-way star whose 102 mph fastballs are rivaled only by his 500-foot home runs.
Giants fans can now officially dream of an outfield with Ohtani and slugger Giancarlo Stanton, when Ohtani isn’t dazzling people while on the mound.
While the Giants are also a finalist to acquire the National League MVP Stanton, he’ll be much more costly than Ohtani.
The Marlins are only looking to trade him in order to escape his remaining $295 million contract.
The Giants and Cardinals are reportedly the two most likely destinations for Stanton and terms of trades with both teams have essentially been worked out.
But Stanton, who has a full no-trade contract, has preferred to be dealt to his hometown team, the Dodgers.
But, since the Dodgers haven’t yet indicated a real desire to assume his contract and watch their salary land in luxury tax land, the Marlins are trying to convince Stanton to accept another destination.
The Marlins reportedly prefer the Cardinals’ offer, which includes top pitching prospect Sandy Alcantara, and calls for St. Louis to absorb more of Stanton’s remaining contract than the Giants are currently offering to do.
Despite rumors to the contrary, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick says the Stanton saga probably won’t end soon.
On the other hand, Ohtani must make his decision within the next three weeks. He was put up for bid Friday by the Pacific League’s Nippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee.
The 23-year-old has until 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 22 to agree to a contract with an MLB team.
Several teams, including the A’s, said Sunday they were told they had been eliminated from the Ohtani chase, and the seven remaining were confirmed Monday by The Associated Press.
Ohtani will be forced to sign a minor league contract, as per terms of MLB’s collective bargaining agreement.
Of the seven teams still in the hunt, the Rangers have the largest signing bonus amount available $3,535,000, followed by the Mariners ($1,557,500) and Angels ($1,315,000).
The Giants, along with the Cubs and Dodgers, are restricted to $300,000 maximums in the signing period through June 15 as penalties for exceeding their bonus pools in 2015-16, and the Padres are limited to $300,000 for going over in 2016-17.
“I started getting a feel that wasn’t good a few days ago,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters at a holiday event Sunday night in Stamford, Connecticut. “I can’t change that that we’re a big market and I can’t change we’re in the East.”