That's the headline, and it comes straight from Brian Sabean, via Alex Pavlovic and John Shea. They have the quotes over at their respective websites, and I encourage you to read them. The Giants are focusing more on pitching right now, and they'll circle around to an outfielder later.
This annoys me because I'm all hopped up on Heyward juice, and nothing short of a little Upton or Cespedes is going to get me down from here. However, I understand why the Giants would say that. It's a three-parter:
1. The pitching market is trash next year, absolute trash. C.J. Wilson might just be the second-best starter on the market. Jorge De La Rosa is one of the 10-best free agent starters next year. Even worse, the Giants will have to dip into that market if the farm doesn't cooperate, as Jake Peavy will be a free agent.
(He'll be one of the best free agents, too. If you needed perspective.)
While it's probably not unreasonable to expect Clayton Blackburn or Tyler Beede to progress enough to be considered for 2017, there's something to be said about spending that money now, while the team has the budget, on a starter who will be around after this season. That goes for getting Mike Leake, Wei-Yin Chen, or, gulp, Johnny Cueto. It's not like the Giants are going to win a Boras bidding war for Stephen Strasburg, and I'm pretty sure they shouldn't try, so salvage what you can out of the offseason.
2. With all of the pitchers being roughly equal in terms of years and dollars, it probably makes more sense for the Giants to play it cool in the arena of public negotiations with the outfielders, specifically because Jason Heyward wants a contract that will require a half-dozen teams bidding up the price. The Giants announcing that they're focused on pitching would seemingly make them less likely to get used in an outfield bidding war for one of the shinier outfielders.
Put it like this: If Leake wants to pitch for the Giants, he knows that there are other Leake-like pitchers out there for a similar price. The Giants' admission doesn't change much. But if the Giants come out and suggest they need a premium outfielder, Heyward will laugh a Disney-villain laugh and ask them to put down a deposit. Both Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton consider themselves in something of a premium class, and the same thing applies.
Or maybe I'm reading too much into this. Always possible.
3. I'm more comfortable with Gregor Blanco, Jarrett Parker, and Mac Williamson figuring out how to make left field work than I am with Chris Heston in the rotation. Get the starting pitcher, then explore a deal for an outfielder, if possible.
My preference would be to swing a trade for Julio Teheran and blow the budget on an outfielder, but the Braves might not be interested, and they're probably feeling mighty cocky after their Diamondbacks haul. But something like that, with a fallback of Heston/Blackburn, would be my choice.
Is Jason Heyward looking at us now? DON'T LOOK AT HIM YOU FOOL how about now? Don't make it obvious, just ... how about now? Well, fine. If he doesn't look at us, maybe pitching really is the way to go. Next offseason is a pitching wasteland, and it wouldn't be an even year without a random outfielder showing up and helping the Giants win the whole thing.