Shohei Ohtani's MLB free agency enamors former Giants GM Bobby Evans
Evans predicts Ohtani will outperform record-breaking contract originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
If Shohei Ohtani becomes a free agent after the 2023 MLB season, the Giants are expected to be one of many teams who will have interest in the two-way superstar.
Ohtani signed with the Los Angeles Angels in December 2017 as an international free agent out of Japan and quickly established himself as one of baseball's biggest stars, winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2018 and the AL MVP award in 2021. The two-way phenom also finished second and fourth for the MVP and Cy Young awards respectively in 2022.
If Ohtani does not re-sign with the Angels, many expect the 28-year-old to ink a record-breaking contract in free agency that could pay him as much as $500 million.
Former Giants general manager Bobby Evans joined 95.7 The Game's "Willard and Dibs" on Friday, where he was asked what he would give Ohtani in free agency.
"I wouldn't be able to give him 50 percent of the club, but I would consider it because he's a guy that's fun to watch and has so much talent," Evans joked. "I mean we're going to see something clearly with a four in front of it at the end of the day. I love what he does, I know he's going to pick wherever he wants to go."
When pressed by hosts Mark Willard and Dan Dibley, Evans conceded that Ohtani's contract very well could reach $500 million, a value that he believes he is worth.
"I don't think you'll have to overpay him, because, at the end of the day, he's going to have three or four places he wants to go," Evans explained. "It will be the highest bidder among those three or four places. I don't know that you can overpay him, because he's got so much in the tank, I think he'll outperform any deal you give him."
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The Giants were one of the finalists for Ohtani before he ended up signing with the Angels five-plus years ago. Evans, San Francisco's general manager at the time, met with Ohtani on multiple occasions and even flew to Japan to scout the then-22-year-old months before he became available.
"Obviously, he'll pick a club that can afford him," Evans said. "I mean this is a special talent, I think he'll bring a lot to the table in terms of a winning mentality, a team approach, he's a great teammate from what we see. Having met him a couple of times, I know there's a great person behind the great player and that's always great for a clubhouse, it's great for an organization and this can be a face of a franchise wherever he goes."
If the Giants, hungry for a superstar of their own, pursue Ohtani in the offseason as many expect they will, there's a good chance the organization will offer him a contract never before seen in the history of professional sports.
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