Giants offseason

Giants storylines to watch for at this year's MLB Winter Meetings

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In just a matter of days, the Giants could be one of the most interesting teams in baseball.

With the MLB Winter Meetings set to officially begin Monday at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, San Francisco awaits the decision of the biggest free agent in league history as president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and general manager Pete Putila navigate a busy offseason with plenty of moves to be made.

Outside of a few transactions, the offseason has been rather quiet thus far, but that will change this week as the annual meetings never fail to deliver the fireworks.

Here are three Giants storylines to watch for this week in Nashville, Tenn.

Celebrating or wound licking?

The contract negotiations for two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani reportedly are entering the final stretch and while the Giants' exact position among the remaining teams is unclear, there's no doubt San Francisco has Ohtani at the top of its free-agent wish list and will do everything in its power to land him.

Having missed out on superstar players year after year, the Giants could be just days away from finally getting the monkey off their back and acquiring one of the biggest athletes on the planet.

Or they won't receive a rose. Yet again.

Regardless of what Ohtani decides, this will be a very stressful week for the Giants who hope to be celebrating with some bubbly rather than drowning their sorrows in a bottle of Tennessee whiskey.

Feeling the pressure

If the Giants miss out on Ohtani, the pressure to land a premier player only intensifies. While a majority of the fan base already is prepared for disappointment, that doesn't mean the groaning won't grow louder if the apple of the Giants' eye turns them down.

In this scenario, the Giants basically are begging someone to take their money, similar to last offseason where they agreed to a staggering 13-year, $350 million contract with Carlos Correa after missing out on Aaron Judge, which was a clear overpay. But an overpay they had to make.

Sure, the Giants can and likely will land a handful of decent-to-good players this offseason, but they simply cannot leave the winter meetings without acquiring or laying the groundwork to acquire a bonafide star this offseason. They must act swiftly and pounce on every marquee name that's available in free agency and on the trade block. It wouldn't be surprising to see another overpay in this scenario. What choice do they have?

Zaidi's biggest trade yet?

Perhaps the most impressive part of Zaidi's tenure with the Giants has been the trades he has made. Not once has he made a blockbuster move with another team -- the Kris Bryant trade in 2021 comes close -- but he has a very positive track record overall in minor to moderate trades.

Tyler Herb for Mike Yastrzemski
"Cash considerations" for Thairo Estrada
Shaun Anderson for LaMonte Wade Jr.
Darin Ruf for J.D. Davis and three prospects

Just to name a few.

This offseason we could see the first trade involving one of the Giants' top prospects in the Zaidi era. He's made it clear this offseason that the Giants will be aggressive on the trade market. Stars like Juan Soto, Luis Robert, Dylan Cease, Corbin Burnes, Pete Alonso, Mike Trout and others could be made available, and the Giants would be wise to target all of them.

The Giants have a surplus of young pitching and likely will tap into that in a trade at some point, but if they are feeling the pressure to go big, it wouldn't be surprising one bit to see one of their coveted prospects on the move.

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