The San Francisco Giants made two huge moves during the past week, re-signing Javier Lopez and exercising Jeremy Affeldt's 2012 option.
Lopez, who is becoming more than the lefty-specialist he was brought to San Francisco to be, signed an $8.5 million contract with the Giants that will keep him in the Bay Area for another two years.
Affeldt's $5 million option was picked up by the Giants Sunday, solidifying the left-handed portion of the bullpen.
These two moves contribute to nearly $10 million that the Giants will owe in 2012 and significantly limit the amount of options that are left to make this offseason.
This is an unlikely option considering the Giants' history, but trading Affeldt would clear space that could be used to pick up an offensive player.
The $5 million owed to Affeldt doesn't sound like a lot, especially when Barry Zito is still scheduled to make $46 million. But I think most fans would rather acquire a new lead-off hitter than keep Affeldt for another year and hope Andres Torres has a 2010-like season.
Jonathan Sanchez is also scheduled to make just more than $5 million, so trading him should be a viable option.
Sanchez has been so inconsistent in his career thus far, and there's really no telling whether he will have a horrible season, a great season or anywhere in between.
Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner are the clear top four starters in the Giants' rotation, but it's not clear if Sanchez will even make the final spot.
Zito is always a wild card for the fifth starter, and Eric Surkamp showed promise at the end of last season. If the Giants do decide to trade Sanchez, they wouldn't be left with completely horrible options.
Grady Sizemore has played only 104 games the past two seasons, mostly due to injury, so acquiring him would definitely be a risk.
Still, let's not forget he is a three-time All-Star who has the capability to push the Giants into the playoffs if he can replicate numbers anywhere close to those of old.
His career in Cleveland seems to be coming to an end, and he is already on the Giants' radar. Health issues aside, Sizemore would be a decent acquisition for San Francisco and would assume the lead-off spot immediately.
Coco Crisp might be the Giants' best bet at acquiring a lead-off hitter who can actually produce while keeping a high level of defense on the field.
Crisp was also one of the league leaders in stolen bases last season, posting a career-high of 49 over the course of 136 games. Considering the Giants played much of the year without a whiff of base-path speed, Crisp would be a good addition to that category.
It seems to be clear that Crisp wants more than a one-year contract, which the Giants may or may not be willing to provide. He has been showing up on the Giants' rumor mill as of late, so keep an eye on his situation.
This whole situation will be over soon, I promise.
To be honest I can't wait until the Giants finally make a decision about Carlos Beltran so we can all move on with our lives.
Until that point, let's keep talking about him.
After deciding to keep both Lopez and Affeldt, it doesn't seem likely they will add any huge offensive name like Pujols, Fielder or Reyes.
If the Giants come back in 2012 with a similar lineup they had during the middle of 2011, the roof will come crashing down on Brian Sabean, so he needs to make something happen.
Re-signing Beltran is the most likely option because it won't take much work, and they won't want to admit their mistake of giving away Zach Wheeler for next to nothing. This doesn't mean they won't also try to bolster the lineup with a hitter like Crisp or Sizemore as well.