First diary here, so be nice!
Judging from the offers Florida expects to get for Miguel Cabrera, I'd say it's pretty unlikely that the Giants will end up with him. This is a shame, as Cabrera is a special player and should be a dominant hitter for the next decade or so.
With their pitching, I'd say the Giants could be halfway decent with just an average offense. Of course, as we all know, the offense as it's currently constructed is probably the worst in the major leagues by a wide margin. So how's this for an offseason strategy?
- Flip Ray Durham to Seattle for Richie Sexson.
- Trade Noah Lowry to Cincinnati for Edwin Encarnacion
- Sign Fukudome to a four year contract to play right field.
- Shift Randy Winn to left field, and go with Rajai Davis and Fred Lewis in center
- Trade Dave Roberts for a minor prospect and a bit of cash.
- Keep Schierholtz on the major league team as a 5th outfielder and first baseman.
- Give second base to Kevin Frandsen.
- Add two relievers via free agency- a lefty and a righty
Some other guys
Admittedly, this offense is average at best, and it could be lousy. The best-case scenario would be for Fukudome to be a .300/.400/.475 guy with strong defense in right field, Sexson to rebound to .260 with 30 HR and 100 RBI, and Encarnacion to hit .290 with 25 HR and 90 RBI. If Winn and Molina play at their 2007 level, and Vizquel, Frandsen, and Davis don't embarrass themselves, this offense wouldn't be all that bad.
Of course, there's a significant chance Sexson will not rebound, Fukudome will be a bust, and Encarnacion won't be as good as people seem to think he could be. In that case, the Giants offense will be lousy- but in truth, nobody expects them to contend anyway. For what it's worth, the Giants would have a great outfield defense which is a useful asset at Big Phone Park.
I haven't looked at the salaries, but with Bonds and Benitez coming off the books the Giants will have a lot of money on their hands, certainly enough to take on Sexson's contract and sign Fukudome.