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MLB Spring Training 2012: Why the Giants Had the Perfect Winter

Melky Cabrera celebrates after scoring.
Melky Cabrera celebrates after scoring.Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Baily DeeterSenior Writer IIIFebruary 29, 2012

Since San Francisco's 2010 World Series title, the Giants have failed to make the big move that would push the team over the top.

During the 2011 campaign, many expected the Giants to cruise through the NL West and make the playoffs, but Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez went down. San Francisco went on a huge slump in August and never recovered, as Arizona won the NL West.

Last year, San Francisco tried to make the big move by acquiring Carlos Beltran, but the move failed miserably. Beltran was part of the team that went on a huge slump, and now he's a member of the St Louis Cardinals.

That's why, over the offseason, the Giants didn't try to land the big prize. They went for Ryan Theriot, Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan, while they lost Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, Jonathan Sanchez, Andres Torres, Aaron Rowand and Jeff Keppinger.

So the Giants team that had two or three players at every position eagerly waiting for their chance on the field now has a clear starting catcher, second baseman and third baseman. Plus, last year's overcrowded outfield now has just Nate Schierholtz, Pagan, Cabrera and 1B/OF's Aubrey Huff and Brandon Belt.

The 2012 Giants team definitely looks better then the team that ended their 2011 season with a loss. Brett Pill had a strong September in 2011 and will fight for a starting job (first base) in 2012, and if not, Aubrey Huff and Brandon Belt are there.

When Beltran came, the chemistry of the outfield was disturbed, and the team worried the same would happen if the Giants somehow landed Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder.

So while many questioned Bruce Bochy's decision not to pursue a big-name free agent, the team actually succeeded. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain are back, Posey, Sanchez, Huff and Pablo Sandoval are back, and most of the championship team from 2010 remains intact.

That's why the Giants had the perfect winter.

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