After the 2012 season ends, both Michael Bourn and Melky Cabrera will be free agents.
Both are dominating this year. Bourn is hitting .311 with seven homers and 32 RBI, and Cabrera is hitting .353 with eight homers and 44 RBI. Both will get a lot of money thrown at them in free agency and both will have big decisions to make.
And so will a lot of teams.
There are tons of teams in need of help in the outfield and Bourn's speed would help a lot of teams. He knows how to get on base (.366 on-base percentage), and he would be a huge threat to opposing pitchers at the top of the lineup.
Many fans think Bourn would help the Giants a lot, and he would.
Melky Cabrera is making a huge statement this year. Not only does he have the second-best batting average in the MLB, he won MVP of the 2012 MLB All-Star game. Thanks to his scorching start, a lot of teams will go after Cabrera in free agency. The Giants should be one of those teams.
According to MLB.com's Chris Haft, Cabrera would be open to signing an extension with the Giants. He loves the fan support and the way the organization has treated him, especially because he has been having so much success.
If the Giants can lock him up in left field, they would have a great outfield. Cabrera is a great hitter and corner outfielder, and he has proved that this year. In right field, the Giants have young Justin Christian, who has a lot of potential, and Gregor Blanco, who is great at defense. Angel Pagan would probably be gone, but the Giants could play Gary Brown in center.
Or, they could sign Michael Bourn.
The Giants have a good outfield, but they will need to take the next big step to become serious contenders. That step is signing Michael Bourn.
San Francisco will have enough cap room to sign Bourn and Cabrera. There wouldn't be much room in the outfield for Gregor Blanco, but the Giants could have Christian start in right field and trade Gary Brown for a reliever or an infielder.
Or, the Giants could start Brown in right field, and they would have a great defensive outfield.
Bourn would probably lead off for the Giants, and he would have Cabrera, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval hitting behind him in the lineup. Bourn knows how to get on base, and he knows how to steal bases. Bourn has 25 stolen bases this year.
The Giants are a good team right now and they currently stand just a half-game behind the Dodgers for the NL West lead. However, they don't seem to have the right pieces in place to win it all this year, and if they can't sign Cabrera and Pagan, they probably wouldn't have the right pieces in place next year.
But if they could sign Bourn, they would definitely have the right pieces in place.
Imagine a team with Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum, Melky Cabrera, Michael Bourn, Pablo Sandoval, Sergio Romo and Buster Posey in 2013. That team would be the Giants, and that team would definitely be good enough to win a World Series.
The Giants are a good team, but with teams like the Nationals, Pirates, Reds, Dodgers, Braves and D-Backs all looking good, it seems unlikely that the Giants will win it all this year. That is their goal and they have to do something to achieve their goal. That something is signing Michael Bourn.
Because not signing Bourn could kill the Giants and signing him would make them instant contenders.