Yamamoto thought San Francisco was ‘beautiful’ before choosing Dodgers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
Following Yamamoto’s introductory Dodgers press conference on Wednesday, his agent Joel Wolfe — who also represents Brandon Crawford — spoke to reporters after the Giants’ pursuit of the prized Japanese pitcher [h/t The Los Angeles Times’ Dylan Hernandez].
Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s agent, Joel Wolfe: “He thought that San Francisco really reminded him of Osaka and thought it was a beautiful city. … If the Dodgers had not been pursuing him, there was a good chance San Francisco could have been his destination.”
— Dylan Hernández (@dylanohernandez) December 28, 2023
While Yamamoto liked San Francisco, he ultimately signed a 12-year, $325 million contract with the Dodgers, the largest deal for a pitcher in MLB history.
Posey’s comments came after the Giants missed out on Shohei Ohtani, who also signed with the Dodgers, despite San Francisco offering a nearly identical 10-year, $700 million contract containing mostly deferred money.
“Something I think is noteworthy, something that unfortunately keeps popping up from players and even the players’ wives is there’s a bit of an uneasiness with the city itself, as far as the state of the city, with crime, with drugs,” Posey told The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly on Dec. 12. “Whether that’s all completely fair or not, perception is reality. It’s a frustrating cycle, I think, and not just with baseball. Baseball is secondary to life and the important things in life. But as far as a free-agent pursuit goes, I have seen that it does affect things.”
Since Posey’s comments, several prominent figures, including new Giants manager Bob Melvin, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and MLB agent Scott Boras have refuted the premise that San Francisco is an undesirable destination.
“Forever, players have wanted to come to San Francisco,” Melvin said to The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami. “It’s a great, great city. I think big cities are having the same types of problems. And at the end of the day, we want guys that want to be here. So, we can’t really affect how people feel about (the city).