The Giants had disappointing comeback year after winning the World Series in 2010. Most of the blame has been put on the lack of offensive of production, which is entirely correct. Since we can’t change the past, we have to analyze and predict the future. The offseason is well under way, with players already meeting with teams, and minor trades already taking place. Brian Sabean has shown that he won’t target top of the class free agents, instead trying to keep his dominant pitching staff together. This doesn’t rule out signing some offensive pop, but the offensive pop won’t be Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols batting third for the Giants.
First off, Sabean needs to lock up Cain before he has the ability to test the market next fall. Sabean has to Yankee proof him because if the Giants lack offensive production again in 2012, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cain departs. At some point is his career, he is going to realize that pitching for a team that provides him with no run support isn’t worth the effort. He will give the Giants one last chance to fill the offensive holes this offseason, but if the Giants don’t acquire the hitters needed to score runs, adios, Matt Cain.
Secondly, sign Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer will come at a discount compared to the injury prone Carlos Beltran, and is much less of a risk. He can also offer the Giants some flexibility being able to play any position in the outfield apart from center, and can play first, second, and third at times. This will give can provide the Giants with some depth, and the ability to mix and match, something Brian Sabean has mastered.
Thirdly, sign Clint Barmes. Yes, he is another old shortstop who can’t hit righties to save his life, but Crawford won’t do any better. It appears that Jose Reyes will not be pursued by Brian Sabaen, so it’s looking more likely that Sabean will sign somebody that can act as “insurance” to Brandon Crawford. Barmes can play short and second if needed, but the possibility of a platoon between he and Crawford may also be a possibility because Barmes can hit left handed pitching decently well, which is another thing Crawford struggled to accomplish last year.
Lastly, ink Roy Oswalt to a two year deal. It isn’t a secret that Atat Park is a pitcher’s park, which might be a reason why the Giants struggle to attract 20 million dollar hitters, but they won’t have a problem luring a fifth starter to the Bay Area. Oswalt struggled last year, part of the fact due to injury problems. Due to that, his value probably decreased greatly, but there are still plenty of positives he can provide the Giants with. The main one being keeping Barry Zito off the mound. Zito is finished, there is nothing more to it, but Oswalt can fill that gap without difficulty.