Barely a year after celebrating the club's first World Series championship in 56 years, San Francisco Giants GM Brian Sabean faces a daunting task: assembling a roster that can contend for another title.
His challenge is characterized nicely by Jason Martinez of MLBDepthChart.com in this late-September roster overview, as well as Tim DIerkes' summary of the Giants' arbitration possibilities in an early-October post on mlbtraderumors.com.
Both write-ups illuminate two essential issues for Sabean and the Giants:
1) Protecting the core of their deep starting rotation and bullpen while preserving some cash for roster upgrades
2) Transitioning from over-dependence on aging, past-their-prime veterans to a nucleus of young, still-untested talent.
Sabean's task this winter: figure out how to navigate these dual challenges within a budget expected to top out at $125 million.
The pace of activity will quickly accelerate late this week. Here's my preliminary take on the Giants' 2012 depth chart.