Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Tim Lincecum leads one of the best pitching staffs in baseball
The San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2010 and seemed poised to make another deep playoff run in 2011. Unfortunately, an incredible run of injuries derailed the team and they ran out of gas in August.
The Giants lost two of their top hitters, Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez, to season ending injuries. Another top hitter, Pablo Sandoval, missed about five weeks with a broken hand. Closer Brian Wilson ended the season on the DL, as did outfielder Nate Schierholtz.
Every main position player on the roster missed significant time due to injury, except Aubrey Huff, and he had a down year. The Giants also received poor years from Cody Ross, Miguel Tejada and Andres Torres.
GM Brian Sabean tried to bolster the offense by acquiring Carlos Beltran, Jeff Keppinger and Orlando Cabrera prior to the trade deadline. These moves were not enough for the Giants to stop Arizona from winning the division.
The Giants' pitching staff was excellent. They had four pitchers. Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner and Vogelsong, who finished the season in the top ten in the league in ERA. The bullpen also pitched well from top to bottom.
The Giants just could not create enough offense to help their stellar pitching. San Francisco had the lowest number of runs scored in the entire National League. The Giants are looking to add a bat or two. They could use a shortstop and center fielder, although any outfield slugger would do.
The problem in San Francisco is that their season ending salary for 2011 was just under $125 million. Management has said they do not want to increase it beyond that level, although they could be persuaded to for the right offensive players.
The Giants must also work to lock up Matt Cain to an long term contract, as he will be a free agent following the 2012 season. Tim Lincecum will be a free agent after the 2013 season, so the Giants would be well served to extend each of them, or they risk losing them to a big money offer.
The Giants will look at Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, but I don't think either will land in San Francisco. The Giants are also looking to make a deal for Carlos Beltran, but his agent, Scott Boras wants a long term contract, which would be a big risk for the Giants.
The Giants expect to have Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez back and at full strength for the 2012 season. That will help the offense immensely.
I believe the Giants will make a serious run at Jimmy Rollins and Michael Cuddyer. Those two would be a good fit and not as expensive as Reyes or Beltran. Rollins would be the shortstop and lead-off hitter the Giants need and Cuddyer gives the team a proven bat in left field.