It’s not the end of the world, Giants fans.
Yeah, It would have been downright wonderful if San Francisco signed Shohei Ohtani and yeah, he’s probably worth $700 million when you factor in how big a draw he will be, how much value he would have added to the Giants franchise, the merchandise, etc. But you know what? When I saw the news on Saturday I was not too saddened. Emphasis on”too.” That’s because, ok, the Dodgers signed him and that means our hated rivals got better but that Ohtani acquisition does not make Los Angeles a World Series contender yet. You read it here first. For that to happen the Bums will have to sign at least two, maybe three top flight Starting Pitchers and hire a new Manager because I can tell you right now they ain’t winning a World Series with Dave Roberts at the helm and/or with their current starting rotation. It just ain’t happening.
What I can tell you is that the best shot the Giants have of getting better this offseason is by acquiring arms like Blake Snell, Corbin Burnes, or Tyler Fitzgerald. Better starting pitchers will help a bunch. But the Giants will also need better, I mean MUUUUUUCH better defense in the outfield and in the infield. They will need their rookies and second-year players to perform better. They will also need some magical things to happen that were unforeseen, like a player or two having a career year. If all those things happen, and they could, then the Giants may be postseason contenders. As it stands, the Ohtani acquisition is a big risk for the Dodgers. Remember, he will be having his second Tommy John surgery and he has had recurring back issues. There is absolutely every reason to think he may not live up to that contract. It’s a biiiiig risk for the Dodgers but they can afford to make that risk.
The Giants could have made that risk as well since, let’s remember, they are a big market team. But as I said since last year, there was no way Ohtani was coming to San Francisco, not for twice what he signed for with the Dodgers. It just was not possible and I am sure the ownership and front office knew it but they had to at least try, as was their due. Try they did, I am sure. Remember, free agents alone won’t win a World Series Championship. It has bee proven time and time again. Yeah, the Dodgers will likely win the NL West AGAIN! But, in the age of the expanded postseason and the diluted value of the division championship it matters much less than it used to, to baseball’s detriment and the Giants’ benefit, I might add.
So, here we are in December and the Giants have yet to make any free agent acquisition. There are speculations and wishful thinkings about players like Cody Bellinger and such. But I am not big on Mr. B. He has too many holes in his swing and he just reeks of Dodger pedigree. I would rather use that money to draft, develop and make smart trades for players not past their prime, as Bellinger likely is. That’s what I would do if I were the GM. I would go after players to make the Giants defense better and find ways to focus on run prevention while developing the bats of players like Luciano, Schmitt and Bailey. Then maybe I would look for a good Lefty DH.
But don’t cry any tears about Ohtani going to the Dodgers. It may not be the end of the world for the Giants and it is no guarantee LA will win a ring. Trust Me.