Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on winning their second World Series championship in three years. The Giants celebrated with a fun-filled parade, with roughly one million fans joining in the jubilation.
There was, as expected, sheer adulation from the fans towards the players, but also from the players back to the fans. The Giants deserved it, and so did their adoring fans.
With the World Series trophy back in San Francisco, the Giants are well-positioned to contend again in 2013. The entire starting pitching staff will return, as will most of the core relievers. The offensive nucleus of the team is young and should be good for years to come.
As the orange and black confetti has now settled and is being brushed away, the Giants' management will soon begin looking ahead to the 2013 season. GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy will look at the roster and make some decisions on how to put the Giants in the best position to win it again in 2013.
The Giants went into 2012 with a salary commitment of roughly $131 million. That was the highest level in the history of the franchise.
As we look forward to next year, a big question will be what budgetary level the Giants' management group will give Sabean to work with. The Giants will save approximately $35 million with players, such as Melky Cabrera, Freddy Sanchez, Aubrey Huff, Guillermo Mota, Aaron Rowand and Mike Fontenot, all of whom will be off the books in 2013.
Out of that $35 million in savings comes about $15 million in guaranteed salary increases to players like Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Pablo Sandoval, in 2013. This leaves an additional $20 million for Sabean to work with before he reaches the Giants' 2012 financial commitment. I also expect some increase beyond the $131 million as we look forward to the upcoming season.
Let's take a closer look at seven moves the Giants should consider as we look ahead to next season.