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Rosenthal sees Giants as competitive suitor for Ohtani

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However the Giants finish the 2023 MLB season, there is one storyline that soon will dominate the offseason news cycle.

Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani is set to become a free agent after the season and the Giants are one of the teams that could be interested.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal joined Tim Kawakami on the latest episode of "The TK Show" podcast, where he was asked about the New York Post's Jon Heyman's recent report that the Giants are believed to be one of three favorites to sign Ohtani this offseason and just how realistic he thinks San Francisco's chances to land Ohtani are.

"With all the respect to Jon Heyman, he doesn't know who is on the list," Rosenthal said in jest. "There's only one guy who knows who is on the list, maybe two. Shohei Ohtani is one, Nez Balelo his agent is another and put his interpreter Ippei [Mizuhara] on that list as well. But none of us know. But from the other perspective there, if you're asking me are the Giants a competitive enough team for him to entertain, I would say the answer to that is yes. And what I've loved about the Giants' season so far is the incorporation of these youngsters."

There has been speculation that Ohtani prefers to stay on the West Coast, which reportedly was a big reason why he chose to sign with the Angels in December 2017. However, as Rosenthal previously stated, nobody knows what the potential 2023 American League MVP is thinking midway through the season.

"When you look at them going forward, they still lack -- I know -- the one star, the guy you build around and all that," Rosenthal added. "But it's a pretty interesting group and I like where they are. So yes, if I was Shohei Ohtani and I was open-minded to the Bay Area -- we don't know what he wants geographically, competitively, we don't know anything -- but I don't see any reason why you would rule them out and I don't see any reason why, from the Giants' perspective, you would not be in this mix or at least trying to be."

The Giants are expected to pursue Ohtani this offseason after failing to land other superstar free agents over the years. Rosenthal believes the organization's inability to reel in the big fish potentially could be due to the perception surrounding the Bay Area and players' desire not to play in San Francisco.

"If I had a concern for the Giants as far as bidding for free agents, I would say it's the Bay Area and the perception of the Bay Area," Rosenthal speculated. "That's not me sitting here saying the Bay Area's no good. But certain cities are more appealing to players than others. I worked a long time in Baltimore, a lot of players have questions about Baltimore because of the state of the city. That can be a factor, state taxes can be a factor as we know and it's high in California."

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With the Giants -- and Ohtani's Angels -- still looking to finish the season strong and make a push for a playoff spot, what should be the most significant free agency in the history of North American professional sports still is about five or six months away.

Although speculation will continue to persist regardless of how the season unfolds for any team potentially interested in Ohtani.

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