The Los Angeles Dodgers weren’t the only team to offer Shohei Ohtani $700 million.
Their arch-nemesis San Francisco Giants did as well, but ultimately, the two-way superstar chose to stay in Southern California but move from the Angels to the Dodgers.
Of course, the Dodgers, since 2014, have had more success. Although the Giants won three World Series from 2010 to 2014, the Dodgers have made the postseason in 11 consecutive seasons while the Giants have made it just twice since their last Fall Classic victory.
The Dodgers already figured to be World Series contenders even before getting Ohtani with the likes of Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, but a Giants legend says there are more factors aside from the on-field product that forced Ohtani’s decision to stay in L.A.
Buster Posey was part of the recruiting process to get Ohtani to play in the Bay Area, but his efforts were unsuccessful. However, he says the current state of the city’s “crime” and “drug” issues likely played a role in his decision.
“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.
“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.”
That doesn’t mean the Giants are out on everyone. San Fran actually struck a megadeal with Carlos Correa last year, but physicals turned them and the New York Mets, away. The Giants also just inked a six-year deal with Korean superstar Jung Hoo Lee.
But instead of having him on, by far, the richest contract in North American sports, the Giants will now face Ohtani upwards of double-digit times a season for the next 10 years despite tying the Dodgers’ offer.