MLB News

Giants impressed Yamamoto during free agency pursuit

Yamamoto, Dodgers agree to 12-year, $325M contract

Report: Giants impressed Yamamoto during free agency pursuit originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The Giants came up short in their pursuit of Japanese star pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.

Yamamoto reportedly agreed to a 12-year, $325 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night, adding his name to the growing list of star players the Giants have missed out on in recent years.

San Francisco reportedly was devoting its “whole heart and finances” to signing either two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani or Yamamoto, who both ended up choosing Los Angeles. The Giants did everything they could to land Ohtani and reportedly did the same for Yamamoto.

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser provided details of San Francisco’s pursuit of Yamamoto and the great lengths the organization went to in an effort to land him.

One source told Slusser that the Giants “couldn’t have done a better job” pursuing Yamamoto and because he was so impressed with their early efforts, dating back months, decided to pay a visit to Oracle Park in San Francisco instead of meeting at his agency’s office in Los Angeles, as he did with other interested teams.

Yamamoto reportedly met with Giants executives, manager Bob Melvin, starting pitcher Logan Webb and bullpen coach Thaira Uematsu, who helped interpret the meeting, according to Slusser. Yamamoto and the Giants then drove to nearby Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors, where the star pitcher got some shots up at the facility.

“It was a great meeting,” a source told Slusser. “He loved it and he thinks San Francisco is a beautiful city.”

When the New York Mets and Yankees upped their respective offers, Zaidi then traveled to Los Angeles to meet with Yamamoto to deliver another in-person offer, the source told Slusser.

San Francisco reportedly was in lockstep “every step of the way financially” with other suitors and there was “nothing else” Zaidi and the Giants could have done to land Yamamoto, who, according to Slusser’s source, had a preference for Los Angeles.

While it’s clear the Giants coveted Yamamoto and did everything they could to sign him, he ultimately slipped through their fingers and wound up with the team’s biggest rival.

The Giants now will shift their focus to other top starting pitchers on the free-agent and trade markets. With Ohtani and now Yamamoto off the board, it’s fair to assume Zaidi and Co. will act swiftly in pursuing a handful of players.

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