The San Francisco Giants' Bill Neukom has been ousted from his role as general managing partner. Is this perhaps the beginning of a Giants shakeup?
Nobody is pointing to the CEOs of this organization as the source of all of the problems the Giants encountered in a disappointing season.
Some have looked at managerial efforts favoring unproductive veterans as opposed to promising rookies. Others have blamed Brian Sabean and the front office for a quiet offseason that allowed certain members of the team to prove they could not duplicate their performance from the Giants’ championship run.
As for the real downfall of this team's chances in 2011, there is nobody to blame for the mass of injuries to critical members of the team.
However, Neukom has been a factor in contract negotiations that have affected the team. According to Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News, Neukom was asked by members of the executive committee to step down due to disagreements in how the increased revenue should be handled.
Bill Neukom approved giving Aubrey Huff another two years and $22 million. He did this despite an obvious statistical regression impending and the promise of one of the organization's top prospects, Brandon Belt, looming in the shadows.
Few thought that the Giants’ fate would turn so drastically for the worse when Carlos Beltran was traded from New York in return for top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. However, Neukom can be considered responsible for giving the nod to a payroll addition in the trade that brought him to the team.
One of the most notorious expenditures of the era was Barry Zito’s $126 million contract that has little to show for itself four years later. Peter Magowan was the man responsible for this move. Bill Neukom replaced him after he was subsequently pushed to resign.
San Francisco’s ownership partners clearly have a history of questionable spending.
Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez's returns in 2012 will represent a considerable upgrade to the offense San Francisco displayed this season, which ranked as one of the worst in Major League Baseball.
However, San Francisco needs another bat, unless they want one of the best pitching staffs in the majors to waste away with subpar win percentages due to minimal run support. They are going to have to commit some serious payroll to get it.
Neukom and his ill-advised spending approval presence will be gone. The organization may be hesitant to approve a big money move that could be a crucial risk to San Francisco capitalizing on a window of opportunity.
If this means that the organization is looking to be cheap this offseason, Giants fans should be worried.
San Francisco is facing arbitration decisions with Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong, Pablo Sandoval, Jonathan Sanchez and Sergio Romo. Carlos Beltran, Cody Ross, Pat Burrell, Guillermo Mota, Javier Lopez, Mark DeRosa and Orlando Cabrera will all be free agents after the season.
Some of these players, including ace Tim Lincecum, will be top priorities to take care of this offseason. However, many of these players will not be back next season, which could mean that San Francisco is attempting to cut down their payroll and work with what they have.
(And it isn’t much, if you could even take anything away from what was an almost nonexistent offense)
It could also mean that the organization wants to cut dead weight. This could have a tremendous effects on the success of this team. Rather than extending and re-signing marginal players, they could focus on targeting a big free-agent signing in the offseason.