Most teams with a nine-game lead in their division in late September aren’t preoccupied with the offseason quite yet. The San Francisco Giants are one such team, and while there is certainly good reason to be worried more about the game tonight than their roster eight months from now, baseball is a sport that demands planning for the future.
The Giants will enter the offseason with star pitchers Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner secured in long-term deals, the contracts of Aubrey Huff, Aaron Rowand and Freddy Sanchez off the books and a slew of popular players heading into the frenzy of free agency. Many of the choices facing the Giants will revolve around their decision to either pursue top-grade free agent talent or instead work to extend the players already on the field.
The need for free agents will be intensified or weakened by what happens in the coming weeks for San Francisco, but regardless of any potential playoff run, many tough calls await Brian Sabean and the Giants when the season ends.
Here are the five biggest questions looking ahead to the San Francisco Giants’ offseason.