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Following the most remarkable season in the San Francisco Giants history, the team's expectations will be set higher than ever before, as expected. The misfits and castoffs of last season probably won't be able to pull off the same heroics twice in a row. And even if they could, Giants managment has already made it clear that with multiple expiring contracts, and a lot of money to spend, changes will be made.

First and foremost, what to do with the expiring contracts?

  1. Edgar Renteria

This man's name will live forever in the hearts of Giants fans. He'll rank right up there with Bobby Thompson for greatest moments in franchise history. However, the Giants have already announced he won't be returning next season. And to the dismay of Giants fans, Renteria says he will return for another season, whether it be in SF or not. Point is though, he won't be a Giant next season, creating a hole in the infield, but also giving the Giants 9 million more to spend.

   2.   Pat Burrell

Honestly, I have no idea what the Giants intend to do with Burrell. I've heard rumors that the front office wants to keep him, but why? Sure his bat was vital to the Giants success down the stretch, but he's a liability in the field, has no range or speed, and is getting up there in years. There are multiple other options on the market to take Burrell's place in the Giants outfield, but we'll get to that later.

  3.   Aubrey Huff

This one's obvious, keep him. Huff was the Giants best hitter this season from start to finish. He lead the team in BA, HR, and RBI. In addition to that, he played 1B well and also can play the outfield. No reason to let him walk, sign him at any cost.

  4.   Juan Uribe

I've heard the Giants aren't going to keep him, but I don't understand why. Uribe was arguably the Giants most clutch hitter all season, highlighted by a solo shot in Game 6 of the NLCS that put the Giants in the World Series. But throughout the season as well, Uribe was a huge contributor to the team. He played SS, 3B, and 2B very well. With Renteria walking, and the uncertainty of where Pablo Sandoval will start the season next year (AAA or MLB?), I think you need to bring back Uribe.

  5.   Javier Lopez

This guy might be the best left handed reliever in baseball. He had a 0.75 ERA with the Giants after the acquired him at the trade deadline. But in the playoffs is where he really shined, he dominated the Phillies left hand heavy lineup including limiting Utley and Howard to just 1 hit. Giants have to resign him to keep the best bullpen in the MLB intact.

Other Notables: Jose Guillen- Release, Santiago Casilla- Release

Now for the Free Agency.

Jayson Werth seems to be the name most commonly associated with the Giants when talking about who they will sign this offseason. I disagree for multiple reasons.

  • Werth is a right handed hitter. The Giants don't need anymore of those as their starting lineup on most nights had 7 righties, plus Andres Torres who switch hits.
  • Werth will be 32 next season. It has been proven before, that aging right handed hitters go to San Francisco to die (I.E. Aaron Rowand, Mark DeRosa, etc)
  • Werth's got a cannon in the outfield which is a big plus, but he's not exactly the fastest guy out there. The Giants NEED speed more than anything and Werth doesn't bring that.

Instead of pursuing Jayson Werth, I think the Giants should go all out. And by that I mean, SIGN CARL CRAWFORD! Crawford is literally everything the Giants need at the moment. He's fast as lightning, has great range, is very good in the outfield, a left handed bat, and he can bat in multiple spots in the order.

  1. Given that AT&T Park is one of the most spacious in baseball, having speed like Crawford's would be huge. He'd be a tremendous upgrade over Pat Burrell in the field, and even at the plate as well.
  2. As mentioned earlier, the Giants need a left handed bat. Crawford brings just that, making the Giants lineup significantly harder to pitch to.
  3. Bruce Bochy likes to mix up the lineup. So much so, that in Game 5 of the World Series, he sent out a lineup that he hadn't put out all season long. Crawford can hit effectively at multiple spots in the order. He's got the speed to bat 1st or 2nd and the power to bat 3rd or 4th.

Crawford is going to want top dollar, but the Giants have that, especially after their World Series run. And from Crawford's perspective, wouldn't he be willing to take a small pay cut if it meant he got to play for the World Series Champions? I mean if the Giants were to get into a bidding war with the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, or any of the other usual contenders, if the Giants gave him anything near the other offers, I dont see why he wouldn't be willing to take a little less money if it meant playing for one of the most promising teams in the league.

Overall, I feel the above is what should be the focus of the Giants early on in this offseason. Although, coming off a season as magical as 2010, I'll trust that whatever Brian Sabean has in store is for the better.

Go Giants!

November 12, 2010  04:05 AM ET

Asking for Crawford seems like an ambitious goal

November 12, 2010  06:23 AM ET

Pretty sure Crawford is staying east and probably going to a division rival.

November 12, 2010  10:15 AM ET

Its highly unlikely the Giants will get Crawford. Heck, it's highly unlikely they'll even be in contention, but I see no reason why they shouldn't go balls to the walls to get him. He's the best hitter available, and he has all the tools we need.

November 12, 2010  02:25 PM ET

Sign Huff at any cost? I don't think so. He had a good year but tailed off after the trade deadline and was awful in 2009. I know he likes playing for the Giants, and is valuable because he can play left field, but I wouldn't go more than 2/15 for his services.

November 12, 2010  03:26 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Sign Huff at any cost? I don't think so. He had a good year but tailed off after the trade deadline and was awful in 2009. I know he likes playing for the Giants, and is valuable because he can play left field, but I wouldn't go more than 2/15 for his services.

Well that would be the definition of "any cost" for him. We only paid him 4.5 mil last year. Upping his pay to 2 years at 15 mil would certainly be "any cost". I was using that term figuratively.

November 12, 2010  03:28 PM ET
QUOTE:

The only real problem I see is the fact that Crawford WILL NOT take a small pay cut for the Giants. If anyone thinks they will repeat or should already be penciled in for the game next year then they are wrong. It took them 54 years to win one. Teams like the Yankees have 27. Red Sox have won multiple since the year 2000. So on and so on. The Giants aren't like the cream of the baseball crop. They had a hell of a good season but players shouldn't take pay cuts to play for them when they want a championship. Especially since other teams that have a better chance and more money will come calling.Other than that though and as a Reds fan I gotta hope you're wrong and Carl comes to Cincinnati. Which is even less realistic. But as we saw last year with Chapman small market teams can make a few surprises.

Giants have a great chance to repeat. Did you even watch the games? Have you seen this pitching staff? They dominated the lineup that walked all over your Cincinatti Reds.

I'm not saying their perennial contenders, but for the next few seasons, with this pitching, all it would take is one or two good bats to make this the best team in the NL.

November 12, 2010  03:29 PM ET
QUOTE:

The only real problem I see is the fact that Crawford WILL NOT take a small pay cut for the Giants. If anyone thinks they will repeat or should already be penciled in for the game next year then they are wrong. It took them 54 years to win one. Teams like the Yankees have 27. Red Sox have won multiple since the year 2000. So on and so on. The Giants aren't like the cream of the baseball crop. They had a hell of a good season but players shouldn't take pay cuts to play for them when they want a championship. Especially since other teams that have a better chance and more money will come calling.Other than that though and as a Reds fan I gotta hope you're wrong and Carl comes to Cincinnati. Which is even less realistic. But as we saw last year with Chapman small market teams can make a few surprises.

And what does 54 years without a championship have to do with anything at this point? You mentioned the Red Sox as being a "championship team" and yet they waited 86 years before their drought ended. Your point is totally useless and invalid.

November 12, 2010  06:08 PM ET

Shave Tim L's head.

November 12, 2010  08:47 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Shave Tim L's head.

I've been an advocate of that for years. He looks like a clown. But if he keeps pitching like this, nobodies gonna say a word.

 
November 12, 2010  08:49 PM ET
QUOTE:

Not really. You're saying a player will take a pay cut to go to a team to possibly win a championship when they have won 1 in however long. They had a good season and timely hitting. Lets see how long their luck holds up.Yea they have great pitching. And I wasn't knocking the Giants at all. But to say Crawford will take a pay cut or will possibly take one to get another ring in San Fran I think is crazy. As stated teams like the Red Sox and Yankees have great pitching also and much better hitting. If he is looking for a championship San Fran may not be the best place to go. Its very hard to repeat. Not to mention the Giants won the worst division in baseball and damn near took them until the final week of the season.Next year try getting in first. Yea the pitching dominated and great job. Until they do it with consistency as some other teams then players WILL NOT take a pay cut to go play in San Fran.

Fair enough, although I still disagree. If Crawford wants to win a championship, San Fran should be one of his top destinations. Great young core of pitching, to go along with Buster Posey and a few other young hitting prospects who could be up and ready next season. New York and Boston are obviously popular picks as well though... as always.

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