Offseason Outlook: San Francisco Giants

We’re starting a new series for September/early October called Offseason Outlook.  It’s kind of a merger of past series (Needs and Luxuries, Team Outlook). 

Here’s how the 2009 Giants stack up (informed greatly by Lefty Malo):

C – Bengie Molina – $6MM
C – Steve Holm or Eliezer Alfonzo – $400K
1B – Travis Ishikawa – $400K
2B – Kevin Frandsen – $400K
SS – Emmanuel Burriss – $400K
3B – Pablo Sandoval – $400K
IF – Eugenio Velez – $400K
IF/OF – John Bowker – $400K
LF – Fred Lewis – $400K+
CF – Aaron Rowand – $8MM
RF – Randy Winn – $8.25MM
OF – Dave Roberts – $6.5MM
OF – Nate Schierholtz – $400K

SP – Tim Lincecum – $405K
SP – Matt Cain – $2.65MM
SP – Jonathan Sanchez – $400K
SP – Noah Lowry – $4.5MM
SP – Barry Zito – $18.5MM
SP/RP – Kevin Correia – $1.075MM+

RP – Brian Wilson – $400K
RP – Keiichi Yabu – $400K
RP – Alex Hinshaw – $400K
RP – Jack Taschner – $400K
RP – Merkin Valdez – $400K
RP – Billy Sadler – $400K

Non-tender candidates: Brad Hennessey – $1.6MM, Tyler Walker – $750K

Buyouts: Omar Vizquel – $300K

By my count, the Giants have roughly $64MM committed for the ’09 squad.  The entered the ’08 season with a $76.6MM payroll, so they’ll have $12-13MM to spend if they hold the line.

The ’08 Giants rank 14th of 16 NL teams in OBP and 15th in SLG.  Their starters rank 8th in ERA; their relievers 15th.  I know ERA has its flaws but there’s no need to get too crazy with stats here.

The infield above is just one possible scenario; all four positions seem wide open.  A veteran free agent would add stability; affordable possibilities include Rich Aurilia, Eric Hinske, Kevin Millar, Mark Grudzielanek, Nick Punto, and Adam Everett.  If Brian Sabean wants to spend some serious coin, he can consider Jason Giambi, Mark Teixeira, Orlando Hudson, Orlando Cabrera, Rafael Furcal, Casey Blake, and Joe Crede.  You have to figure the Giants acquire some kind of veteran infielder.  Aubrey Huff, Adrian Beltre, Mike Jacobs, Kelly Johnson, and Jorge Cantu could be trade targets.  They’ll probably add a reliever too.

A slugging infielder could also be targeted via trade, using a veteran outfielder or young pitching as bait.  With Tim Alderson and Madison Bumgarner in the pipeline, the Giants may consider shopping Sanchez.  His shoulder strain is a concern, but he’s due off the DL today.  The lefty, 26 in November, ranks fifth in the NL in K/9.  The Giants could pursue Brandon Wood, Reid Brignac, Dan Uggla, J.J. Hardy, Garrett Atkins, Kevin Kouzmanoff, or one of the Rangers’ catchers.

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