The 2011 season is far from over, and I have not given up hope for the Giants this year. I do expect the Giants to overtake Arizona and make the playoffs.
The Giants went through a tough pennant race last season and I believe that experience will give them the confidence necessary to get past the Diamondbacks. Arizona has not played meaningful games in September for quite awhile, and very few of their current players have been through that pressure.
If the Giants do indeed make the playoffs, we shall let the chips fall where they may. As we saw last year, the Giants' outstanding pitching will give them a chance in any playoff series.
However, Brian Sabean will have a big job in the offseason, as he will need to rebuild the Giants roster. Several current Giants will be free agents, and it's very unlikely they will be on the 2012 team.
These free-agents-to-be include Miguel Tejada, Mark DeRosa, Cody Ross, Carlos Beltran, Pat Burrell and Orlando Cabrera. Relief pitchers Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt and Guillermo Mota will also be free agents, but may be re-signed by the Giants. Lopez, Affeldt and Mota have all done their jobs well this year.
Several other players are arbitration-eligible and may not be offered a contract. These include Jonathan Sanchez, Jeff Keppinger, Andres Torres and Mike Fontenot.
This means several new players may be wearing Giants uniforms in 2012. In addition to the aforementioned Lopez and Affeldt, who Sabean will try to re-sign, let's take a look at some impending free agents GM Brian Sabean should be looking at and would look good in orange and black.