The 2010 San Francisco Giants earned their way into the World Series. Although they needed to chase down the San Diego Padres at the end of the season and erase what was a six game lead at the end of August, they did just that.
They would take down the Atlanta Braves followed by the Philadelphia Phillies, two teams that are as good as any team not only in the National League but in baseball.
The Giants used their solid pitching and timely hitting to win the NLCS and get in to the World Series. They weren't the favorites coming in, but they proved to be the better team from start to finish as they dominated the Texas Rangers in five games, celebrating on Texas' home field on Monday night.
Now that the team is headed back to the bay area to celebrate with their fans, their front office will go right back to work to rebuild this team to try and go after another championship.
What will it take for this team to repeat? What players are coming back and who could be in different uniforms in 2011?
Here are a breakdown of players that will be returning as well as players that could either be re-signed or they've spent their final day in a Giants' uniform.
This might be bittersweet for Pat Burrell during the off-season.
On one hand, he wins a World Series with the team he grew up rooting for as a kid, but on the other, he knows there's a possibility he won't be back for the 2011 season.
The Giants signed him to a Minor League deal on May 29th, 2010, after the Tampa Bay Rays designated him for assignment on May 15, 2010.
The Giants would eventually purchase his contract on June 4, 2010.
He didn't have a bad regular season for San Francisco, hitting .266 with 18 home runs and 51 RBI through 96 games.
However, Burrell's bat disappeared in the playoffs, hitting just .143 with a single home run and going hitless (0-for-13) in the World Series.
Those stats alone may keep him from wearing a Giants' uniform next season.
For a guy that signed a seven-year $126 million contract and not be on the World Series roster says something about just how good the young pitchers are for the Giants.
Barry Zito was that guy and he had to watch from home as his teammates brought the trophy home to San Francisco and I expect he will join them for the parade.
The Giants have Zito signed through 2013 with the team holding an $18 million club option for the 2014 season.
Zito will make $18.5 million for the 2011 season, $19 million in 2012, and $20 million in 2013.
Jonathan Sanchez was the only Giants' pitcher on the World Series roster that didn't dominate the Texas Rangers.
He avoided arbitration with the team before this season, signing a one-year $2.1 million deal. While the Giants could re-sign him during the offseason, personally I'd be surprised if he was going to be back with the team next year.
While Aaron Rowand might not have been an MVP for the Giants, there's something to be said about a veteran that's been there before and can be the kind of guy the young players can look up to.
After playing for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006, he and the team declined the mutual option for the 2007 season but ended up agreeing on a one-year deal for the 2007 season.
Rowand would not re-sign with the team and ended up signing a five-year $60 million contract with the Giants on December 12th, 2007.
He will make $24 million over the next two seasons and also has a limited no-trade clause in his contract from the 2009 to the 2012 seasons.
Cody Ross wasn't supposed to become a member of the San Francisco Giants. They were just blocking the San Diego Padres from acquiring him off waivers but were awarded Ross on August 22, 2010.
Turns out, the Giants made a move that benefited them more than they ever thought it would. Ross hit .294 during the 2010 postseason including five home runs, four of which came in three straight games.
Ross will be arbitration eligible for the 2011 season and should become a free agent in 2012 unless the Giants work out a long term deal to keep him in the bay area.
Freddy Sanchez was a guy the Pittsburgh Pirates gave up on and the Giants wanted. So, the two teams worked out a trade that brought Sanchez to the bay area on July 29, 2009.
He hit .284 through 25 games with the Giants last season and has improved in a big way for the 2010 season, hitting .292 with a .342 on base percentage.
Though he had just two hits over his final 17 at bats in the World Series against the Rangers, his 4-for-5, with three doubles, night in Game 1 set the tone in their 11-7 win.
He signed a two-year $12 million extension with the Giants in October of last year and is slated to make $6 million for the 2011 season.
Who would have known that the Giants would get this kind of return on a $3 million investment?
That's exactly what they got from veteran Aubrey Huff when they signed him during the offseason back in January of this year.
He hit the deciding home run in Game 4 and provided a spark throughout the World Series for this team. At this point, I would expect him to be back with the team but for more than the $3 million they signed him for this past year.
There isn't a guy that came up bigger for the San Francisco Giants than Edgar Renteria and it's why he held the World Series MVP trophy at the end of the night.
It couldn't have come at a better time since the Giants own a $10.5 million club option on him for the 2011 season.
While he did three different stints on the disabled list, he came up big for the Giants when they needed him the most. I wouldn't be surprised to see at least a one, if not two, year deal for him during the offseason.
Against the wishes of a lot of San Francisco Giants' fans, the team signed manager Bruce Bochy to a two-year extension, with an option for the 2012 season, in October of 2009.
It looks like the Giants knew what they were doing.
He'll be back for at least one more year but I wouldn't be surprised to see that option picked up sooner rather than later.
"Fear the Beard" made his presence felt through the World Series and was the man on the mound to close out the Giants first ever championship.
He's been a solid closer for the team and will be back not only for the 2011 season but also the 2012 season after signing a two-year $15 million extension on March 26, 2010.
He'll make $6.5 million next season and $8.5 million in 2012.
Matt Cain signed a three-year, $27.25 million, extension with the Giants in March of 2010.
He's slated to make $7 million during the 2011 season and $15 million in 2012.
Tim Lincecum signed a two-year contract extension in February of this year, avoiding arbitration with the team.
He is only signed through the 2011 season where he'll make $13 million but I wouldn't be surprised to see a long term deal worked out this winter.
While he's signed through the 2011 season, he's also eligible for arbitration for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
This is a young pitcher that is about as good, or better, than any pitcher in baseball right now. To come into a World Series at his age and act like you've been there before and act like a veteran says a lot about this young right hander.
The Giants and their fans have something to look forward to for years to come. If he gets better, he'll start stacking up NL Cy Young Awards up before his career is over.