Former Giants legend says San Francisco's reputation could be keeping top talent away

A co-owner of the San Francisco Giants says the city's image is to blame for recent troubles the team has had in acquiring new players, according to an interview posted by The Athletic. 

The co-owner and former Giants legend, Buster Posey, made the comments after Shohei Ohtani turned down a $700 million offer from the San Francisco Giants. Ohtani eventually accepted a nearly identical, record-setting contract to join the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

In the exclusive interview, Posey discussed some of the challenges he has faced since moving into ownership, particularly around drawing new talent to the team. He believes the team is having a tough time drawing in top-tier talent because of the struggles that San Francisco is facing. 

"Unfortunately, we’re in a bit of a free-agent slump," Posey told The Athletic. "But I believe it can turn around."

Posey says he has heard concerns from players and their families about feeling uneasy with the state of San Francisco, especially when it comes to crime and drugs. 

"Whether that’s all completely fair or not, perception is reality. It’s a frustrating cycle, I think, and not just with baseball. 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," Posey told The Athletic. 

Posey clarified that Ohtani himself never said anything to express concerns about San Francisco, but there were some reservations within his camp about the city. 

In a conference call with reporters discussing the loss of Ohtani, Giants President Farhan Zaidi said the team did all they could to draw the talented player in, but their efforts failed. 

"Every financial target or request that was made from their camp was met and was met pretty quickly," Zaidi said. "But this is what free agency is: It comes down to a choice for the player. And when you’re talking about a generational player, he’s going to have great choices and probably check just about every box he’s looking for," Zaidi said. 

Posey says he doesn't believe the team could have done anything more to bring Ohtani onboard. 

"I don’t think so," Posey said. "I really don’t. I’ve thought about it since the news came out. I really don’t think so. It’s different but similar to playing the game: I always wanted to feel when you’re done, win or lose, that you put it out there. I really feel like we did," he told The Athletic.