I'm still in San Diego. The Giants are not. It was just a couple days ago that our little lives were all about Lester Lester Lester Lester Lester, and the rumors were flying. Now we have no Jon, no Pablo, and a lot of cash.
If you're freaking out, it's far too early for that. Just squint a bit and act suspicious. According to folks Alex Pavlovic talked to, the Giants were as annoyed as you:
While Evans said the club remains optimistic, league sources said the Giants were starting to show some frustration in the final hours of the meetings. That could be in part because the trade market is spiraling away from the Giants, too. They have pitching prospects that they are willing to deal, but most of the big trades have involved MLB-ready talent going to both sides. The Giants do not want to pull sought-after young players -- like Brandon Belt, Joe Panik and Andrew Susac -- off their big league roster.
The weird thing about that is that if Hector Sanchez doesn't get a concussion and/or Dan Uggla doesn't hit like a human concussion, Panik and Susac are both still considered prospects. I wonder if they would be on the table in a major deal, then, and why their late-season success should change that. Not that I'm wild about losing either of them. They're kind of good luck.
If the Giants want to go big, they can still engage with James Shields, an idea I'm warming to. He's older, but that also means a shorter deal than what Lester got. This is year eight of him being mostly excellent, reliable, and durable, and the Giants' rotation is a mess. They're probably going to back away slowly from Max Scherzer and his $200 million asking price. I don't mind that decision.
If the Giants want a mid-level starter, old friends Ryan Vogelsong and Jake Peavy are still around. While the Giants were chasing Ervin Santana for some reason, Aaron Harang -- who outpitched him last season -- would be a one-year stopgap until the deep free-agent market next year.
If the Giants want to trade, they can still sniff around the Reds' remaining two starters who will be free agents after the year. They don't have the assets to swing a Johnny Cueto deal, but I could see them getting Mike Leake, who would be a delightful fit for the ballpark.
If the Giants want to hornswoggle the Phillies into giving up Cole Hamels, I'm okay with that, too.
The introduction of Asdrubal Cabrera was a late addition to the third-base rumor game. He could be okay. Unless the Giants somehow grow three top-100 prospects in a petri dish and trade for Evan Longoria, "okay" is about the celiing for third base next season. There are other names: Jed Lowrie and Emilio Bonifacio, for two. Chase Headley isn't exactly the rah-rah guy who would fit well with Hunter Pence and the rest of these idiots, but he's still a good player.
The Giants started the Winter Meetings at the center of an exciting rumor whirlpool. They ended with nothing, while the Dodgers made all sorts of rational, helpful moves. You're grinding your teeth right now. You're right to do so. Keep at it. Flatten those suckers down.
There's still a lot the Giants can do to be as good or better than the team that just won the World Series. As a fellow spoiled brat, though, I feel your discouragement, too. I wanted to hate/love the Jon Lester deal. I wanted there to be trades and more trades, with the Giants getting all the players the other teams wanted. Instead, here: Brett Jackson and Ramon Del Orbe in the Triple-A Rule 5 Draft. Get your Orbe hats now.
See what the next few weeks are like before getting too grumpy, though. The disappointment might be fleeting.