Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Morosi believes Giants will be aggressive during MLB offseason

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As the MLB free agent market begins to take shape, the Giants will be aggressive as they shop for the marquee player that has eluded them in seasons past.

On the latest "Giants Talk" episode, MLB Network's Jon Morosi explained why the crop of high-end hitters on the market bodes well for a team like San Francisco in desperate need of an offensive spark.

"In a lot of ways, it's a continuation of what they tried to achieve last offseason with the addition of true impact bats," Morosi told NBC Sports Bay Area's Laura Britt. "A year ago this week, they were right there on Aaron Judge; of course, he went back to the New York Yankees. Now whether it's Shohei Ohtani, Cody Bellinger, perhaps a trade for Juan Soto.

"There are some significant bats out there. I would mention J.D. Martinez, as well as another possibility; of course he just played down the coast with the Dodgers. Justin Turner, with what he's been able to do, of course he's a long-time Dodger as well.

"There are the right players out there. I think that you now have to look at a roster that is malleable enough that you can move some players around. Brandon Crawford of course, all his years that he did for the Giants and the standard he represented for so long, but you have to find ways to keep reviving your roster. Getting a little bit younger, a little more athletic. I think a little more productive in the middle part of the lineup.

"That's where I want to know is, since Buster Posey's retirement, who is the face of this offense. Who is going to be able to drive in 100 runs? Who is going to be able to hit 30 home runs? I love LaMonte Wade Jr. I think it's important to have a surrounding cast around him, so that way you're not asking Wade to be a different player than he's shown he can be."

Britt asked Morosi if he envisions the Giants making supplementary moves to any additional splash signing, which Morosi said would likely be delayed until there is a final resolution for a pair of Japanese stars who have been linked to San Francisco.

"I do, and I think we'll wait to see Laura in all likelihood until after Ohtani and [Yoshinobu] Yamamoto make their decisions because we know the Giants have been heavily involved. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the three-time defending Sawamura Award winner, which is, by the way, in Nippon Professional Baseball only one award for the best pitcher, not two like we have in [the] MLB. And he's won it three straight years; that's how great he is.

Ohtani didn't even do that, nor did [Yu] Darvish, nor did Daisuke [Matsuzaka], nor did [Masahiro] Tanaka, any number of pitchers over there over the last 60 years. We know how much the Giants want to sign him, for that reason I think we have to wait until that decision is made."

Yamamoto was sensational for the Orix Buffaloes in 2023, recording a 17-6 record with a 1.21 ERA across 24 starts in the Japan Pacific League and the Japan Western League.

Morosi detailed that if the Giants were to miss out on Ohtani and Yamamoto, their focus could quickly shift toward finding a high-end starting pitcher elsewhere.

"If they don't get him, then I think the Giants have to go fully into the market, trade-wise perhaps for a starting pitcher," Morosi explained. "Maybe Blake Snell would be a name that you look at in free agency. But if you can't get Snell or Yamamoto, then you go into the Dylan Cease marketplace, potentially the Tyler Glasnow marketplace if he has not been moved yet.

"[Brewers starting pitcher] Corbin Burnes, he's got some California roots himself. So I think there's enough supply out there, Laura, that they'll be able to get the player they want or a player they want. Clearly, right now, the players they would love to have, Ohtani and Yamamoto, we're still waiting to hear their decisions."

With the MLB Winter Meetings underway, the dominoes could fall rapidly upon any news of Ohtani and Yamamoto agreeing to terms with any of their prospective suitors.

Given the Giants' reportedly close ties to both, it's reasonable to expect any significant shake-ups with San Francisco's roster to be put on hold until some clarity arises with the Japanese sensations headlining the top end of the free agent market.

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