The excitement in the air is palpable as baseball fans around the world await the free agency decision for Shohei Ohtani, especially for those in the Bay wondering if the two-time superstar will sign with the Giants.
But anyone hoping to get some sort of hint from Farhan Zaidi during his Monday media session at this week’s MLB Winter Meetings will be sorely disappointed, as San Francisco’s president of baseball operations has brought a hard-line approach to the Nashville, Tenn., club.
That’s not to say Zaidi didn’t leave some crumbs about the team’s strategy, when asked about Oracle Park’s ability to keep free-agent hitters away from San Francisco. Especially left-handers.
“You mean Barry?” [Bonds]Al-Zaidi asked the journalists, Via Evan Wiebeck From Mercury News.
“Barry had better numbers in the backbill than the eight years he played there. He hit more homers and his OPS was better at home. … Not that I looked for that for any reason. Other than just genuine curiosity.”
No reason at all? interesting.
While the teams have kept Ohtani’s negotiations under wraps at the slugger’s request, the Giants are believed to be finalists for the two-time AL MVP award as his final decision looms.
And if Ohtani has any reservations about how Oracle Park will impact his or her overall domestic production, Al-Zaidi is right — In 494 matches The Home Run King played the field during Bonds’ career, hitting .335/.526/.763 with a 1.289 OPS and 160 home runs.
Bonds’ 11.4 percent home run rate at Oracle Park from 2000 to 2007 is better than his mark of 7.5 percent on the road during his 22-season career, and his OPS at third and king is better than his 7.5 percent career mark 1.037 OPS. . If Bonds can make it work — and break records — on a pitcher-friendly field, that’s a good sign for the hard-hitting Ohtani.
It’s not hard to imagine that blend of transcendent talents arriving at McCovey Cove. However, the Giants also have other reported free agent targets such as Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, outfielder Cody Bellinger, and South Korean outfielder Jung Ho Lee in their sights.
“It seems that we are heading towards some things happening in the next week or two,” Al-Zaidi told reporters. “But it’s hard to say. We’re doing the best we can with the players we’re interested in, but agents and players kind of control the tempo of if they’re able to roll up their sleeves and when. This is the first day of meetings, so if some deals start next week, This will put us on or slightly ahead of schedule as an industry.
Now, all Giants fans can do is wait patiently.
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