The long-running rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants bled into this offseason’s chase of Shohei Ohtani.
Though Los Angeles was ultimately successful in signing the free-agent superstar to a 10-year deal reportedly worth $700 million, it wasn’t for a lack of trying on San Francisco’s part.
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said the team offered Ohtani the exact contract he accepted from the Dodgers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea.
“We said we were agreeable to it. … It was going to come down to a choice by the player at that point,” Zaidi explained.
Zaidi verified reports that the Giants met with Ohtani in San Francisco before the winter meetings but said he got a sense the two-way star preferred Southern California, according to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic.
“Every financial target or request that was made was met and was met pretty quickly,” the executive said, according to The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly.
The Dodgers officially announced Ohtani was joining on Monday. The Giants quickly pivoted to another star free agent, inking Korean outfielder Jung Hoo Lee to a reported six-year, $113-million deal on Tuesday.
The Giants finished the 2023 campaign fourth in the NL West, 21 games behind the division-winning Dodgers.