Out goes one Shohei Ohtani suitor, in comes another. The Los Angeles Dodgers were never going to have it easy when pursuing the star two-way player, but the least they could've hoped for was the field narrowing a bit more.
Many thought that was the case as the New York Mets have fallen out of favor, at least with the way insiders have been positioning them in recent rumors/reports. Steve Cohen recently talked about his team's massive payroll and the substantial financial losses the organization is enduring, which, as MLB insider Jon Heyman noted last week, would seem to put the Mets on the outside of the sweepstakes when the offseason arrives.
And that was likely a huge sigh of relief for the Dodgers since that was more than likely their top competitor from a fiscal perspective.
The San Diego Padres seemingly have slipped behind the curtain, too, because of their own financial issues stemming from an unimpressive first half of 2023. Nice! Two down!
But those two have been replaced. The Angels are vying for a playoff spot and should be active at the trade deadline, leading many to believe Ohtani re-signing is a real possibility (though Mike Trout's recent injury could gradually change the tune there). And then there's ... the San Francisco Giants?!
Dodgers Rumors: SF Giants a suitor for Shohei Ohtani?
The Angels were always going to be involved if they managed to contend, so that's not necessarily a surprise. But you mean to tell Dodgers fans that the Giants failing to land Aaron Judge in embarrassing fashion and then somehow lucking out by avoiding that massive commitment to Carlos Correa might actually help them?
It makes perfect sense, too, which makes it all the more troubling. Ohtani's reported desire is to remain on the west coast, so that already helps the Giants. Secondly, Farhan Zaidi has a ton of money to spend thanks to a flexible payroll. Thirdly, the Giants might actually appeal to Ohtani because they've remained competitive despite not possessing a single "star" by league-wide standards.
Perhaps Ohtani prefers a more concentrated spotlight instead of sharing one with multiple other players such as Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Clayton Kershaw? We'd doubt it given his current situation with Trout, but it's hard to rule anything out for what's about to be the most unique free agent chase in history.
How did this all materialize so quickly? The Giants were never really mentioned as a serious suitor, and now they're among the perceived frontrunners?
This development doesn't necessarily hurt the Dodgers, it's just a potential frustrating roadblock because the Giants appear to be in a decently favorable position should they maintain success in 2023. So it's probably best the Dodgers handle business against them the rest of the way and get rid of the stench of getting swept not too long ago.