Giancarlo Stanton doesn't exactly want to come to San Francisco. The Giants just have to hope their biggest rivals don't want him. (Courtesy Corn Farmer/Flickr)

Giants on verge of striking out on biggest free-agent targets

UPDATE: The Giants officially struck out.

The team issued this statement Friday afternoon saying they’re officially out of the Stanton Sweepstakes:

Our agreement with the Marlins to acquire Giancarlo Stanton subject to his waiving of the no-trade clause will not move forward and it is our understanding that the Marlins and Stanton are exploring other options.  

———

The San Francisco Giants entered this offseason looking to make a splash.

They had their sights on a pair of players that could change the arc of a declining franchise: Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton. The goal was to get both and watch the wins (and ticket sales) roll in.

That dream was killed on Friday, when Ohtani decided to sign with the Los Angeles Angels — according to media reports. 

Nez Balelo, co-head of the Colonial Athletic Association, confirmed the decision in a statement.

“Shohei is humbled and flattered by all the time and effort that so many teams put into their presentations and sincerely thanks them for their professionalism. In the end, he felt a strong connection with the Angels and believes they can best help him reach his goals in Major League Baseball,” Balelo said.

The Giants were a finalist, but didn’t make the cut. We won’t know exactly why until Ohtani comes to the states. But, no matter the reason, it’s a major setback for a franchise desperately looking to avoid a lengthy rebuild.

And if Stanton also decides San Francisco isn’t for him, the Orange and Black’s previously clear path back to contention becomes much murkier.

The Giants’ chances of landing the reigning NL MVP aren’t great right now, either.

According to Craig Mish, who has been reporting Stanton’s saga for weeks, the Giants came to an agreement with the Miami Marlins for a trade that would send most of SF’s top prospects (Christian Arroyo, Heliot Ramos, Tyler Beede and others) in exchange for Stanton and most — if not all — of the $285 million remaining on his contract. 

But, Stanton has a full no-trade clause in that deal and he’s not inclined to waive it to play at Third and King. Not yet, anyway.

Mish reports that Stanton will approve a deal to the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs.

The problem: Those teams don’t need Stanton to compete and aren’t interested in mortgaging their promising futures to take on a huge contract of a guy who has played more than 140 games in a season three times during his eight-year career. 

So, that leaves the Giants to play the waiting game.

“This morning it appears SF will wait out this process. Their current offer at some point to Miami will be leveraged. If no deal is struck within their parameters/time frame it may be pulled but would remain open to a “lesser” deal for Stanton,” Mish reported Friday.

San Francisco could still land Stanton. It just needs him to be officially rejected by his true love first. It’s like asking your crush to prom just to have them respond, “Hold on and let me see what’s up with your biggest enemy first.” It’s not a great position to be in, but what can you do? Settle for JD Martinez? Those pictures wouldn’t get nearly as many likes on Instagram.

The Giants will wait until they can’t anymore. It sucks, but it could be worse. They could be not trying at all.

Contact Examiner Sports Editor Jacob C. Palmer at jpalmer@sfexaminer.com or on Twitter, @jacobc_palmer.

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