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Giants legend says crime, drugs in San Francisco have deterred free agents

Buster Posey in gear

Sep 6, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) reacts during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants have been desperate to add star power since they won their last World Series in 2014, but top free agents continue to turn them down. One franchise legend says there has been one factor contributing to players passing on the team.

Former Giants catcher Buster Posey spoke with Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic this week about San Francisco’s unsuccessful attempt to sign Shohei Ohtani. Posey, along with several Giants executives, was part of the team’s free agent pitch to Ohtani.

“It was such a unique opportunity. I just feel that him coming to the Giants could have been transformative, obviously for the baseball team but it also would’ve given the city a boost that we’ve all been looking for,” Posey said.

Ohtani, of course, signed a massive 10-year, $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Posey believes the current state of the city of San Francisco has been a deterrent to Ohtani and other top free agents.

“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 said. “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.”

While Posey says Ohtani never expressed concerns about the city of San Francisco, the three-time World Series champion was made aware that Ohtani’s camp had “some reservation with the state of the city right now.”

In addition to Ohtani, star players such as Aaron Judge and Bryce Harper turned down the Giants in free agency.

The Giants are still trying to sign another star Japanese player, but it does not sound like Posey is optimistic about their chances.

San Francisco has had just one winning season since 2017. They may have to try to build a contender primarily through their farm system and via trades.

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