UPDATE II: So much for that. Giants general manager Brian Sabean confirmed to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that they did not submit a bid for Nakajima.
UPDATE: John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that the report of the Giants submitting a bid on Nakajima is inaccurate.
10:37 AM: According to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Giants “appear to have submitted” a bid on Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima.
We learned over the weekend that Nakajima drew a bid from at least one MLB team and that the Seibu Lions intend to accept the highest bid regardless of the amount. If the bid is indeed accepted, the winning team will be granted a 30-day exclusive negotiating window to agree on a contract.
Nakajima, 29, is a .302 career hitter in Japan and has surpassed at least 16 home runs and 15 stolen bases in each of the last four seasons. He batted .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs, 100 RBI and 21 stolen bases this past season.
Brandon Crawford currently projects as the Giants’ starting shortstop next season, though they have been connected to free agents Alex Gonzalez and Jerry Hairston, Jr. in recent days. They were not involved in talks for Jose Reyes and landing Jimmy Rollins is considered a longshot.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.