MLB Free Agency: Yusei Kikuchi Could Be Giants' Perfect Fit for Rotation

LAS VEGAS -- Late Tuesday night, Farhan Zaidi walked down a hallway at the Four Seasons Hotel and knocked on a door for his meeting with Scott Boras. Right away, Zaidi realized he had stopped at the wrong room.

"Rather than stand there and apologize, I made a run for it," Zaidi said, laughing. 

That sprint to Boras' actual meeting room, about 200 yards away, might go down as the most significant action for the Giants this week at the 2018 MLB Winter Meetings. They have been quiet, and their new president of baseball operations does not expect a substantial move before flying home Thursday, but he does feel he has put down the groundwork for the Giants to potentially make a couple of additions next week.

Boras might fit into that equation, although not in the way the Giants long planned. They continue to appear to have zero interest in Bryce Harper, and Zaidi's meeting was not one of the marathon sessions with Boras, Harper, his wife and others that have become the talk of the industry. Zaidi went alone, discussing business with a man who still has others the Giants could pursue. 

Chief among them, potentially, is Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, a 27-year-old who profiles as a solid mid-rotation option. Boras said Wednesday that Kikuchi will host interested teams later this month in Los Angeles. The Giants figure to be there. 

"He's been discussed," manager Bruce Bochy said. "So just like a lot of clubs, probably most clubs, there's a high level of interest because of the talent of this pitcher. We're in that mix, too, as far as how good we feel about him."

The Giants could hold a big advantage over others. According to a person familiar with Kikuchi's preferences, he views San Francisco as one of his top potential destinations. Kikuchi, like many Japanese players, would prefer to stay on the West Coast.

The Giants remain intent on adding pitchers of that caliber. A source told NBC Sports Bay Area that the team had some interest in right-hander Tanner Roark, who was traded from the Nationals to the Reds earlier Wednesday. According to The Athletic, the Giants also were in on right-hander Lance Lynn before he signed a lucrative three-year, $30 million deal with the Rangers.

The Giants, with so much money already committed, prefer not to go to that kind of level. But Zaidi still does hope to add to the rotation, and he believes he made progress in Las Vegas. 

"There are guys that have been traded or landed with other teams that we've had conversations about but weren't necessarily comfortable with the ask," Zaidi said. "That's where kind of the fluidity of the plan has to come into the place. For a team with a few needs, it's nice to be in what's a relatively deep free agent market."

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