Happy Wednesday, San Francisco Giants fans.
It’s the final day of the 2023 Winter Meetings, and the excitement that so many expected has not arrived; it probably won’t arrive today, either. So far the biggest signing at the meetings has been a two-year, $15 million deal for Erick Fedde. The biggest move was Alex Verdugo being traded to the New York Yankees. It’s not exactly the madness that people prepped for.
There’s still plenty to talk about on the free agency front, even as we patiently (or impatiently) wait for Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto to pick homes, so that the rest of the class of available players can, too.
Tuesday brought plenty of drama. Most noteworthy was Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts being very open about the team’s meeting with Ohtani. That prompted speculation that Ohtani might be nearing a deal with LA and giving them a green light amid an otherwise secretive free agency ... but then the Dodgers general manager and president of baseball operations both damage-controlled Roberts’ statements, so I think that’s off the table.
Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes said he was surprised by manager Dave Roberts’ candidness about Shohei Ohtani and their private meeting.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 5, 2023
He steadfastly refuses to talk about their pursuit.
At this stage in the pursuit, I doubt Roberts can say anything that would make Ohtani not want to sign with the Dodgers if they’re his preferred landing spot. But damn, it’s funny.
There have also been “reports” from some that the Giants have fallen back in the race for Ohtani, or are out of the race for Ohtani, or are unable to convince him that he could hit home runs at Oracle Park. I advise you to not listen to those “reports.” No one knows anything, and if anyone did know anything, they wouldn’t be divulging specific details. Unless they come from a highly-trusted source, “reports” are merely speculation dressed as information.
But while the free agency market is quiet, and the Ohtani news is absent, there’s actual business happening: drafts. Tuesday was the lottery for the 2024 MLB Draft, as the league is taking a page out of the NBA’s playbook and adding an element of chance into things.
The Giants did not get lucky. They missed the 1% chance at landing the top pick, and will instead draft right where they were supposed to: at No. 13. But hey, there’s good news ... the last time they had the No. 13 pick, they landed Patrick Bailey!
Speaking of drafts, today is the Rule 5 Draft. It starts at 11:00 a.m. PT with the Major League portion. The Minor League portion will follow immediately after.
Maybe something else will happen, too. You just never know.