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John Shea breaks down how Giants might have to change their approach in pursuit of Ohtani



© Matt Kartozian | 2023 Feb 28

They Giants haven’t been able to land a true star on the free agent market, and this offseason was no exception.

It wasn’t for lack of trying. They reportedly offered Aaron Judge $360 million and Carlos Correa $350 million. Ultimately — for different reasons — both players ended up elsewhere. Even though they are willing to spend, it doesn’t seem to be working.

Do the Giants need to be even more aggressive? According to John Shea of The San Francisco Chronicle, if they want to land Shohei Ohtani next offseason, it might be the move.

“Maybe the Giants are just a little hesitant to go a little bit more,” Shea said regarding previous free agent pursuits. “Should they have gone $400 million instead of $360 for Judge? Well if they went $400, I think they were real confident the Yankees were going to match $400. It’s like ‘We could keep going up but we realize at this point of the negotiations Aaron Judge wants to go back to New York.’ So it wouldn’t have done any good to instead of nine and $360, let’s make it $400. But maybe they’ve got to start there.

“Ohtani is coming up. ‘Okay here’s $600 million, can anyone top that? Nobody’s ever been offered $500 million, well forget that here’s $600, take it or leave it.’”

Maybe $600 million isn’t a realistic offer, but you get the idea. They Giants may have to be the team that makes players offers they can’t refuse, rather than trying to win bidding wars.

That’s certainly what the San Diego Padres have been doing the last few years, and it’s been good for business.

“The Padres are reckless, and the fans love it,” Shea concluded. “Do you know what happened at their FanFest while the Giants had like 12,000 on a rainy day? The Padres had so many people, most of them had to get in their cars, they couldn’t get in, they went home.”

Listen to the full interview below. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Catch Tolbert & Copes weekdays from 2 – 6 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.