SF Giants Eyeing 2 Big Targets In Offseason Free Agency

The San Francisco Giants are deep into discussions about how to improve their squad for next season, and have already pegged two prime free agents they'll be targeting, including what general manager Farhan Zaidi calls one of the top starting pitchers in the world.

That would be Japanese sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the right-hander from the Orix Buffaloes of NPB. He's ranked in most quarters as the 3rd-ranked free agent for MLB teams to consider this winter. 

All he's done is post a 1.82 ERA and an 0.93 WHIP over seven seasons and nearly 900 innings. And incredibly, he's just 25. 

“Tremendous combination of athleticism, stuff and command," said Zaidi of Yamamoto. "It just looks like he’s got plus stuff and he’s sort of putting every pitch where he wants to, which in this day and age where we’re so worried about pitch characteristics and velocity, it’s almost different to see somebody execute at that high of a level with good stuff.  A lot of positives there, and he’s been an impressive guy to watch.”

The Giants will have plenty of competition for Yamamoto, however, as at least 10 teams are already said to be pursuing him. 

The other free agent the Giants have their eye on is from Korea: star outfielder Jung Hoo Lee of the KBO League’s Kiwoom Heroes. He's batted an astounding .340 in his 6 ½ year career in the Korean league, with an on-base off .407 and an .898 OPS. 

He has an MVP award in the KBO (2022) and five Gold Gloves for his defense in center field.

Photo: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports