Shohei Ohtani‘s free agency has yet to begin, but the San Francisco Giants are making it clear they want him as a teammate next year.
“I know that the Giants, (Los Angeles) Dodgers, and (Chicago) Cubs were all high on Shohei’s list when he first signed, but without the (universal) DH then, it just wasn’t realistic,” All-Star righty Alex Cobb said Tuesday, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. “Now that that’s gone, I think he wants to be in a place that is a big market and can sustain winning for a long time … and San Francisco has a big Japanese population.
“I absolutely could see that as the very possible outcome if we back the truck up enough.”
While Cobb noted some of the intangibles that San Francisco could offer Ohtani, Brandon Crawford leaned on the franchise’s recent legacy and appealed to the 2021 AL MVP’s purported desire to win a championship.
“In the past 15 years, we’ve won the World Series three times, that’s a good place to start,” the three-time All-Star shortstop said. “This team has a history of trying to do what it takes to win. I’ve heard he wants to win, and for someone like him, who’s done everything else, the World Series will be the main thing.”
Ohtani is eligible to test free agency for the first time in his MLB career this winter after a six-year stint with the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels will undoubtedly tender Ohtani a qualifying offer. Still, it’s believed the club will have difficulty retaining his services after missing the playoffs the previous five years and currently sitting 7.5 games back of the final wild-card spot this season.
The 29-year-old is hitting .308 with an AL-leading .409 OBP this campaign while pacing MLB with 40 homers, seven triples, a .673 SLG, and a 1.082 OPS through 112 games entering Tuesday’s contest against the Giants. Ohtani also boasts a 3.32 ERA and 4.07 FIP over 21 starts as a pitcher. As a result, he’s considered the prohibitive favorite to win his second AL MVP award.
With Ohtani and the Angels hosting the Giants for the second game of a three-game set in Anaheim, the Halos came out victorious Tuesday to snap a seven-game skid. Wednesday’s rubber match will feature Ohtani on the mound.
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