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Elephant Rumblings: Giants Strike Out in Free Agency Once Again

The consequences of Moneyball have infected both sides of the Bay.

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Farhan Zaidi, San Francisco Giants’ President of Baseball Operations, before Giants play Oakland Athletics in Bay Bridge Series at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Photo by Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Another offseason, another failed superstar pursuit for the San Francisco Giants.

Pressure has been mounting on the Oakland Athletics’ crosstown rivals for years to spend money on a top-end free agent. Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge, Carlos Correa, Shohei Ohtani, and now Yoshinobu Yamamoto lead the list of stars that the Giants have struck out on in recent years. The fruitless cycle of the team’s free agency expeditions is more of a meme than a real strategy at this point:

Former A’s Assistant General Manager Farhan Zaidi has taken a lot of flack for the Giants’ inability to recruit elite talent. Previously hailed as an analytics mastermind, that reputation has faded as he’s only been able to cobble together one playoff team in his five years atop San Francisco’s front office. Ownership, however, is as much if not more to blame for these failures than Zaidi as they’ve been unwilling to outbid rival suitors while deflecting responsibility on alleged “city problems”. Let’s ignore that Los Angeles, with many of the same issues, secured two huge stars this offseason and multiple in past seasons. Commitment to spending and winning might have something to do with it, who knows?

The latest from the Giants’ front office is that they’re now pivoting their attention and wallet to reigning NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell. However, it won’t come cheap or easy as the Los Angeles Angels are reportedly making the southpaw a major priority as well with Ohtani moving across town. Ranked fourth on MLBTR’s top free agent list, they projected him to get $200 million over seven years, which should turn out light given how Yamamoto just signed for $100 million more than his projection. If the Giants walk away empty-handed once again, fan unrest will grow more and more as they watch their archenemy LA Dodgers flaunt Ohtani, Yamamoto, Freddie Freeman, and Mookie Betts across the league.

Wait, hold one. We have breaking news:

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of X:

The premium for Japanese players is at an all-time high.

Some more Yankees fan nonsense for y’all.

Remember, John Fisher did it first. The Dodgers are just copycatting.