With all the talk focusing on how the Giants can afford to pay Lincecum, whose long term demands could be a fifth of the Giants total team payroll, or if Beltran should be resigned, the spectre of lingering bad contracts looms over head.
By finding out when these bad contracts come off the books, the team can allocate a long term strategy that pays the players who deserve the big money.
Assuming none of the following bad contracts can be traded, the Giants will just have to wait for them to expire.
This year, Mark DeRosa's two-year $12M contract comes right off the books. Mark DeRosa was mostly hurt the entire span of the contract and contributed little when healthy.
That's a savings of $6M this year.
So does Cody Ross and Andres Torres. They won us a world series but did little to help us last year.
That's an additional savings of $8.5M for a total of $14.5M savings of expiring and overpriced contracts.
After the 2012 season, if the world still exists, a major blunder of a contract will come off the books.
At 5 years and $60M, Aaron Rowand joined the Giants to win a championship and was a contributor in their World Series run.
Other than that contribution, Rowand's stay has been forgettable.
His contract comes off the book at a savings of $12M per year. Also coming off the books for the 2013 season will be Aubrey Huff's. His 2013 option of $10, if not picked up, will cost the Giants only $2M. That's an additional savings of $8M.
That means, after next season ends, the Giants will be saving $20M in bad contracts, money that will be used to keep a dominant pitching staff.
Barry Zito, Dave Righetti (left), Eli Whiteside (right)
Barry Zito's contract will be expiring at an opportune time to open up the pocket books to Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, and/or Matt Cain.
When Zito's option isn't picked up, it will cost the Giants a $7M buy-out of the final year versus the $18M he is due in salary.
After the 2014 season, Barry Zito will be gone for good, and Brian Sabean's biggest blunder will be a thing of the past.
That's $11M savings off the 2014 season and $7M off the books for 2015.
In total, from this point in time until Zito's contract expires, the Giants will be paying $70M over three years to unproductive players.
That's spread across only three players, while the Giants have less than 10 players under contract for this season.
The good news is that these bad contracts will be expiring soon. The question remains, has Giants GM Brian Sabean learned anything from these moves?
If not, he will put the Giants in the same position financially once again and lose the young pitching core that won him a World Series.
Back when these bad contracts were signed, there was much less risk to the roster. Timmy and Matt were both still young and well within the Giants 6-year reserve.
Now, the young core that brought San Francisco its only World Series will be demanding the size of these bad contracts for themselves—and rightfully so.
If the Giants put themselves in a position where they can't even afford to pay, then when Timmy and Matt are unrestricted free agents, someone else will.
That's the danger now and it's pretty much just that simple.
With all this money coming off the books Sabean will be wise to stay away from too many over priced veterans (Beltran) and focus his resources on keeping the young core of this team together for a very long time.