SAN FRANCISCO -- Late in a 98-loss season, Giants coaches and officials often brought up some version of the same concern: "We're not just bad, we're also boring."
It remains to be seen if the next variation of the Giants roster will be much better. But you can say definitively that the race to piece it together certainly hasn't been boring.
Giants officials woke up Monday morning waiting to hear if Giancarlo Stanton will waive his no-trade clause, clearing the way for the Marlins to trade him. At the same time, they are preparing to meet face to face with Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani, a potential two-way star.
Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans already had one big meeting, sitting down with Stanton and his representatives last week in Los Angeles. Per sources familiar with the discussion, the Giants came away from that meeting feeling that it had gone very well. There is increased optimisim in the organization that this will actually happen, assuming Stanton gives his blessing.
Stanton, though, still has not given an indication one way or the other. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported over the weekend that he did not eliminate the Giants or Cardinals during separate meetings last week, but there has also been no indication that he has agreed to waive his no-trade clause. The Giants believe they have the right trade package in place, so they've tried to alleviate Stanton's specific concerns. Those include, per sources, financial concerns. Stanton stands to lose somewhere between $20-25 million over the course of the deal by switching from Florida's tax code to California's, and it's believed that his representatives have introduced such issues.
The Giants are not unfamiliar with this type of play. Johnny Cueto hoped to have the final year of his contract turned into a guaranteed year instead of a club option, and it's possible Stanton's side has introduced the same type of arrangement for his 2028 option. The sides also could agree on changes to his opt-out clause to try and sweeten the deal.
From a baseball perspective, the Giants appear comfortable with the case they're making. Stanton has brought specific roster-related questions to the team, but the Giants did not -- at least last week -- feel he needed to be swayed by players. Unlike in the past, they did not call in some of their stars, relying instead on Sabean and Evans for a conversation that's believed to have centered mostly around business.
The same will not hold true when the front office meets with Ohtani this week. The Giants can offer him only $300,000, but they are one of seven finalists according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, and the decision will be made purely on baseball terms. In that respect, the Giants feel they have plenty to offer. They already have mapped out a schedule for Ohtani should he choose to try and play both ways in San Francisco, giving him the chance to start every turn and also pile up more than 300 at-bats. At the very least, that presentation was intriguing enough to get them to the finalist round.