SAN FRANCISCO — As the Giants continued to wait for Giancarlo Stanton to make a decision, they switched gears for a few hours Monday and put the full-court press on their other offseason target.
Multiple sources told NBC Sports Bay Area that the Giants sent a large contingent to meet with Ohtani on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles. They are the first known team to sit down face to face with the Japanese superstar, who was posted last week and intends to be a two-way player next season. The Giants sent the majority of their front office, including Larry Baer, Brian Sabean, Bobby Evans and Jeremy Shelley. Bruce Bochy was also sent to the meeting, and a source said the Giants called Buster Posey in to help with the recruiting.
Per multiple reports, Ohtani narrowed his field over the weekend, focusing on seven teams. The list is heavy on the West Coast, with the Giants joined by the Dodgers, Angels, Padres and Mariners. The Cubs and Rangers are the other two teams that will get a meeting with Ohtani.
The Giants have been on Ohtani since he was a high school star, and they made him a focus late in a disappointing season. Evans and Shelley visited Japan in October to scout Ohtani in person. When Ohtani officially became available on Friday, Bochy told NBC Sports Bay Area that a plan was presented to use Ohtani as a top-of-the-rotation starter and a part-time outfielder.
“This guy is special,” Bochy said on Friday. “I see him as somebody who could be a starter and it’s possible you’re also looking at 300 or 400 at-bats. It’s going to make it a little easier next year with our days off, looking at the new schedule, to where he could play even more because he’ll get that additional rest. That’ll make it easier, too.”