This is the fifth installment examining how the Giants should reload and/or rebuild for next year. The third base discussion can be found here, catcher discussion here, first base is here, and the middle infield is discussed here. The historical value of this series is already being critically examined, with the New Yorker describing it as "a cross between Lord of the Rings and The Federalist Papers." This installment is not very interesting, though.
The outfield is pretty much set. Bonds for about 100 games, if we're lucky. Moises Alou clomping around out in the vast wasteland of rightfield, if he isn't traded (which he isn't going to be). Jason Ellison taking his waterbug act out for a second go-round. Todd "0-1" Linden trying to stick in the majors, and taking the at-bats Bonds needs to sacrifice to the angry knee gods. Not much room for discussion, really.
The concern is age, of course, and if Ellison can even crack a .270/.330/.370 in full-time status. I don't want to be there to find out. He'll need a platoon partner, or at least a super-sub who can handle both centerfield and right-handed pitching. Given Ellison's sub-Matheny slots in the batting order, it's likely Felipe Alou isn't sold on the idea of Ellison as offensive juggernaut. Adam Shabala meets the qualifications to be a left-handed hitting Giants centerfielder -- he screws up flyballs, and doesn't hit particularly well -- but he's a stretch for the 25th man, much less platoon partner.
So, the outfield question has devolved into plugging our ears our fingers and humming, thus to forget about the age of the rickety outfield, and trying to find someone to replace or complement Jason Ellison. Your ideas on who the bring in would be appreciated, as always. The first one to ask for Carlos Beltran will be sacked. The first one to ask for Marvin Benard will be placated initially, and then shunned Amish-style for about a year.