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#pounditFriday, February 23, 2024

Report: NL team determined to sign 1 Japanese star this offseason

Shohei Ohtani in a red Angels uniform

Aug 8, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) watches from the dugout in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants fell short in their pursuits of free agents such as Bryce Harper and Aaron Judge. They reportedly are determined to ensure they snag one of the two Japanese stars in free agency this offseason.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported on Tuesday that the Giants are making it a priority to sign either Shohei Ohtani or Yoshinobu Yamamoto in free agency.

Ohtani is a free agent now that his contract with the Los Angeles Angels has expired. The Dodgers have long been believed to be the favorites to sign him.

Yamamoto was posted by the Orix Buffaloes last week. The 25-year-old pitcher has been the Pacific League MVP for three years in a row, a span during which he won the pitching triple crown in each season.

Ohtani is recovering from elbow surgery that will cause him to miss the 2024 season as a pitcher, but he should be available to help teams as a hitter for 2024. Yamamoto is an absolute ace who has teamed with Ohtani to help Japan win the gold medal at the 2020 Olympics and win the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

The Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014, but they have only made the postseason twice since then. They have only had one winning season since 2017 and have been desperate to add some star power since then.

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