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Hi Steven, I'm following up on your last note. The free agent signing period does not begin until after the World Series, so we will start to see more rumors and activity following the WS. I also don't want an article on the Giants lost in the WS focus, so it's best to wait until after the WS to focus on specific free agent targets. That being said, I am writing a more general article on teams & their F/A needs this off season. It should be out this Thurs..
Take a look at this article I just wrote. It addresses many of your questions about the Giants' current players.
As far as Zito for Zambrano, I was the one who wrote that and it makes sense from a salary perspective. The only issue is Zito is so bad that the Cubs probably wouldn't do the deal.
With the free agents: Reyes - No, too expensive. Pujols - and Fielder - Very unlikely. I think we have a beeter chance at getting Cuddyer and Jimmy Rollins. (LA will keep Kemp.)
Steven, good hearing from you. I wanted to respond to your questions & comments.
1) Tim Lincecum is under the Giants' arbitration control for 2012 & 2013. The earliest he can become a free agent is 2014. He will be a Giant thru 2013 & the Giants will probably sign him to a long term deal before 2014.
2) One thing that you may find interesting is a website that gives you all the contract status info for every player and also current & future contract obligations for each team. Look up Cots baseball Contracts. It is a great site.
3) I don't think Jonathan Sanchez will ever throw another pitch for the Giants. He made $4.8M in 2011 & is arbitration eligible for 2012. IF the Giants sign him, they will likely try to trafde him. If they can't find a suitable trade, they may just let him walk away. He would likely get around $5M in arbitration.
4) Roy Oswalt will command too much money for the Giants. He made $16M this year & even if he takes a 50% paycut, he'd still be at $8M. Too much for SF for a #5 starter. No way on Rich Harden. He is too injury prone.
5) Heath Bell will be a free agent after this season is over. The Giants would love to have him, but there are 2 factros against this happening. First, Bell will command probably around $12M per year. No way the Giants go that high. Second: If Bell came to SF, he probably wouldn't close as that job is Brian Wilson's. He won't go anywhere unless he's the closer.
6) Ross, Beltran, DeRosa & Burrell all will probably not be back in SF for 2012. Crisp and Cuddyer are definite possibilities. Willingham is a no, he's a bit older, injury prone and would block someone like Belt in LF. Kubel is a decent player, but we already have a guy with stats like his in Nate Schierholtz and Nate is an outstanding defender.
7) This off season, the Giants' top two priorities are SS & strong hitting OF, (CF would be ideal). Leadoff hitter at SS or CF would be great too.