Your 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants are officially back on the clock.
It's a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world and with free agents signing all over the place, the impatient among the Black and Orange faithful want to know how the franchise is reloading. Adam Dunn, Jayson Werth, Victor Martinez, Derek Jeter, Lance Berkman and Rod Barajas are just a few of the bigger names who are off the big board.
Aubrey Huff and Miguel Tejada are also spoken for, but by the hometown voice so they'll be dealt with in due course. Inquiring minds want to know what's next.
Truth be told, there shouldn't be much more offseason action by the Bay.
The San Francisco budget is already swollen for 2011. It's unclear how much general manager Brian Sabean is posturing and how much of the $120 million talk is reality, but the message is the same in either case—don't expect a high-priced acquisition.
But before you groan about the needlessly niggardly front office, consider what is happening across Major League Baseball's free agency landscape.
The Washington Nationals just signed Werth...the 31-year-old Jayson Werth...for seven years and $126 million dollars!?!?!
That's one of the most insane contracts I've ever seen, right up there with Barry Zito's of the exact same length. Not a good omen and it begs the question (at maximum decibel), why the hell do teams so willingly pay Scott Boras' price?
Can you name a single one of his deals that's been even a good idea for the club in retrospect? Forget about a great one.
Back to the point
V-Mart (32 before New Year's Day) went for five years, $50 million to the Detroit Tigers. Dunn got $56 million for four years from the Chicago White Sox. Jeter's albatross in New York is a special case; we all knew it was coming, but what about Hiroki Kiruda getting $12 million for one year in Los Angeles Dodger blue?
Shoot, even Aubrey's price tag of $22 million over two years is a little staggering, though easily embraced considering he was underpaid in 2010. That and the shiny new Commissioner's Trophy which now resides in The City.
Additionally, look at the names that have signed and are still available. They're not necessarily game-changers aside from Carl Crawford who is being wooed by just about everyone, including the bottomless pockets in pinstripes.
In other words, I'd prepare for a calm winter from the Giants and that's a good thing.
Having said that, there are still some tweaks to be made as dreams of repeating are indulged, so let's take a look at the realistic best- and worst-case scenarios for each facet of the team.