The San Francisco Giants have an open window of opportunity and they need to maximize their chances, right now. Everything came together for the Giants in 2010 and they won their first world championship since moving to San Francisco in 1958.
The Giants' 2011 season was derailed due to a plethora of injuries, which led to a moribund offense. The Giants lost two of their top hitters, Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez, for the season due to injury. Their other top offensive threat, Pablo Sandoval, also missed over five weeks with a broken bone in his hand.
Through all of the adversity, the Giants remained in contention until the latter stretches of the season due to their stellar pitching. Four of their five starters, Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner and Vogelsong were all in the top ten in ERA in the National League.
In addition to the starting rotation, the Giants received outstanding pitching from their bullpen. Brian Wilson, Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla were all big-time contributors.
Outstanding pitching like the Giants have currently is extremely rare. Some baseball experts would call it a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.
Starter Matt Cain is due to be a free agent after the 2012 season. Tim Lincecum and closer Brian Wilson are due to be free agents following the 2013 season.
The Giants will try to sign Cain and Lincecum to extensions, but there is no guarantee that they will accept. The time is now for the Giants to take advantage of their great pitching and do whatever they can to get back in the playoffs to make another run at the World Series.
San Francisco GM Brian Sabean will look to bolster the offense. The Giants will have both Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez back in 2012. That will help the NL's worst offense in 2011.
However, there are still major offensive holes at shortstop and center field for the Giants. The Giants also do not have a quality lead-off hitter, at this point.
Let's take a look at some of the free agents the Giants will be looking at. I will also provide my educated probability as to what percentage chance the Giants have to land each player.