MLB Free Agency 2012: San Francisco Giants Need to Focus on Maintaining Core

Brian WinettCorrespondent IIIOctober 28, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 24:  Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants bats against the Florida Marlins at AT&T Park on May 24, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With the start of MLB free agency 2012 around the corner, while you can expect the San Francisco Giants to get off to a fast start, don't expect them to make any big moves.

This is because the Giants need to focus on keeping their current homegrown core of the franchise intact well into the future.

That core is Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Buster Posey, Brian Wilson, Madison Bumgarner and Pablo Sandoval. Throw in Jonathan Sanchez to that mix if you like.

This core can keep the Giants in contention for the length of their careers and they're all young enough to be around for a very long time.

Signing any big name free agents could pose a long-term risk of losing this core due to financial reasons.

By signing any big name free agents from Beltran to Reyes to Pujols for more than three years, the Giants risk losing one or more of these homegrown players.

That is to say, the Giants have an opportunity to return to the days of old and hold onto the players they brought up in their system.

With talented players in the minors like Brown, Belt and Crawford who just need some time to develop (a year or two more), the Giants would be wise to focus their efforts on acquiring veteran bargains at short stop and center field this year.

By saving money in free agency now, by the time contracts like Zito, Huff and Rowand come off the books, the Giants will have the money to pay Lincecum, Cain, Posey and company what they deserve while calling up fresh and fully-developed talent in a year or two and have a truly contending team once again.

That's not to say the Giants need to mortgage the upcoming season for this to take place, just that this season's free agent signings need not be of the franchise defining variety.