San Francisco Giants: Which Free Agents and Arbitration-Eligible Players Return?

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San Francisco Giants: Which Free Agents and Arbitration-Eligible Players Return?
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Tim Lincecum had an excellent season

The San Francisco Giants have given us two great seasons of exciting baseball.  In 2010, everything fell into place for the Giants, and they won their first World Series title in San Francisco.

The Giants looked poised to make another run at it in 2011, however, injuries derailed their chances.  They finished the year in second place in the NL West, with a record of 86-76.  They also ended up in third position in the Wild Card chase.

At one time or another, every important position player, except Aubrey Huff missed significant time due to injury.  Several pitchers also had injuries, and although the Giants battled valiantly, they simply were unable to overcome those injuries. 

This offseason, the Giants will have some tough decisions on which players from their existing roster should be brought back and who will be let go.  The Giants only have five players currently under contract for 2012.  These are Barry Zito, Brian Wilson, Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez and Matt Cain.

In addition to these five, there are several young players who are not yet arbitration-eligible and will undoubtedly be signed.  These include Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Brett Pill.

The Giants finished the 2011 season with close to $125 million in salaries. They already have nearly $73 million committed for next year, but that's only for five players, plus an additional $13.6 million in dead money for Aaron Rowand. 

The Giants currently have 20 players that are either free agents or are arbitration-eligible for 2012.  I will review each of these players and who we can expect back.  I will also give a percentage likelihood for the return of each individual player.

The bottom line is there will be several changes made to the roster for 2012.  Let's take a position by position look at who stays and who goes.

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