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Giants legend believes he knows the reason why Shohei Ohtani didn't join San Francisco

Shohei Ohtani's decision to join the Los Angeles Dodgers has had a ripple effect throughout the baseball world and will continue to impact MLB for years to come. Ohtani's choice to sign a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers has come as a double-whammy for the San Francisco Giants, LA's longtime foes and NL West division rivals. The Giants have tried to sign elite players in free agency the past two years -- but they keep striking out, despite winning more World Series championships since 2010 (three) than the Dodgers (one).

Buster Posey, a central figure in all three championship-winning Giants teams, was part of the organizational push to land Ohtani. In an interview with The Athletic, the former MVP indicated that the city of San Francisco is not enough to convince the best free agents to bolt for the Bay Area once their contracts are up.

Shohei Ohtani signs with Dodgers the best contract in history: 700 million!Marca.com

Posey: San Francisco makes players and their families feel uneasy

Posey, who played his entire 12-year career for the Giants, told The Athletic that the city's allure is not as strong as it once was. The perception is that nice weather year-round in the Bay Area is not enough to overcome concerns about drug use and violent crime in San Francisco.

"Something I think is noteworthy, something that unfortunately keeps popping up from players and even the players' wives is there's a bit of an uneasiness with the city itself, as far as the state of the city, with crime, with drugs," he said.

Posey thinks this perception hurt the Giants as they pursued Ohtani, trying to convince him to move 400 miles north of Anaheim -- where the two-way star spent the first six years of his MLB career. San Francisco last year was also unable to complete deals for shortstop Carlos Correa and 2022 AL MVP Aaron Judge, who ultimately stayed in Minnesota and New York respectively.

"It's a frustrating cycle, I think, and not just with baseball," Posey continued. "Baseball is secondary to life and the important things in life. But as far as a free-agent pursuit goes, I have seen that it does affect things."

Giants poised to rely on pitching in 2024?

While Oracle Park may not be home to any star sluggers in 2024, the Giants have a solid one-two punch at the top of their starting rotation. Ace right-hander Logan Webb anchors San Francisco's pitching staff and is coming off a season in which he finished second in NL Cy Young Award voting, and a healthy Alex Cobb was an All-Star in 2023 -- although the right-hander will miss the start of next season after undergoing hip surgery.

Still, San Francisco is reportedly involved in the race for another Japanese phenom, right-handed pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The Giants on Tuesday also signed South Korean outfielder Jung Hoo Lee to a six-year, $113 million contract, in the hopes that he becomes a reliable middle-of-the-order bat for new manager Bob Melvin.

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