Shohei Ohtani

Best Giants free-agency fits with Ohtani headed to Dodgers

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The Giants officially missed out on signing two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, who on Saturday announced his decision to play for the NL West-rival Los Angeles Dodgers on a 10-year, $700 million mega contract.

Left without a rose yet again, San Francisco now must pivot to the handful of enticing free agents left on the market for which there still are plenty.

While Ohtani's decision certainly is another frustrating blow for San Francisco and its fans, the sky is not falling despite the initial sentiment amongst a portion of the fanbase.

Here are some players the Giants can pivot to with Ohtani off the board.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Yamamoto was believed to be at the top of the Giants' offseason wishlist with Ohtani.

Now that his fellow countryman is off the board, Yamamoto will become the Giants' top priority as San Francisco reportedly was devoting its "whole heart" and finances to landing one of the two.

You can read more about him here, but he reportedly has a contract floor of $200 million and could receive as much as $300 million in free agency. This is a situation where the Giants need to offer him whatever he wants. There's no reason to be out-bid here.

Cody Bellinger

Granted, Bellinger is not in the same tier as Ohtani or even Yamamoto, but he is the best position player available on the free-agent market and is a star the Giants should pursue.

I previously mentioned how the Giants might be forced into overpaying for a free agent this winter and, reading the tea leaves, that could end up being a player like Bellinger. There were rumblings that Bellinger could seek a $250-plus million contract which is an uncomfortable number for a player with his shaky track record.

Would the Giants be thrilled dishing out that much for Bellinger? Probably not. But again, they might not have much of a choice.

Blake Snell

In a tier slightly below Yamamoto free-agency-wise, Snell might be the best proven starting-pitching option on the market this winter after winning his second career Cy Young Award this fall.

He fits the bill as the co-ace to starting pitcher Logan Webb the Giants are looking to add and certainly would check off a major box. The Giants should prioritize Yamamoto, but Snell would be a nice consolation prize.

Matt Chapman

While he might be a slight overall upgrade over incumbent third baseman J.D. Davis, Chapman has a strong connection to new manager Bob Melvin and has a higher offensive ceiling than Davis that could make him a nice fit for the Giants who, after all, will be looking to add a name -- any name(s) -- this offseason.

Jung Hoo Lee

He's a better fit for the Giants in center field than Bellinger, in my opinion, and will come at a fraction of the price. You also can read more about him here. Lee officially was posted on Monday, opening his 30-day window to sign with an MLB team. The KBO star has elite bat-to-ball skills and won the MVP award in 2022 before his injury-shortened 2023 season.

Rhys Hoskins

He missed the entire 2023 season after suffering a torn ACL in spring training, but still could land a multiyear deal this offseason.

When healthy, he has elite power and can provide the Giants with a formidable middle-of-the-order bat, and likely will be somewhat affordable given the recent injury. Not to mention he's from Sacramento and grew up a big Giants fan.

We know how they love their local guys.

Teoscar Hernández

The 31-year-old Hernández does not fit the profile of a defender the Giants will be targeting in the outfield, but can play a serviceable right field if needed. Or, he and Mitch Haniger can split time as the designated hitter.

The draw here would be his bat. Hernández has averaged 27 home runs and 95 RBI over his last three seasons. This could be a move later down the line should the Giants strike out on a few of the players listed above.

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