It's the end of the road for the San Francisco Giants, but there's plenty to talk about and question during the offseason, starting with the team's annual postmortem press conference. There are a lot of players on the team currently who's status is up in the air due to contract status, injury, etcetera, here's a look at some of the finer points made, with the aid of Giants beat writers Hank Schulman and Andrew Baggarly.
The heart and soul of this team is it's pitching, which is why getting their talented young arms paid and in the Black and Orange is a top priority this offseason. Once everything is settled on the mound, then them team will look at getting free agents such as Jose Reyes or Prince Fielder. Cain becomes a free agent before Lincecum, but Sabean did not count out possible talks with Timmy over the next few months, who isn't really looking for a long term deal. Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito will also be making likely returns to the Giants, fighting for a rotation spot along with Eric Surkamp. Jeremy Affeldt will likely be returning as well.
The Giants will be pursuing Carlos Beltran, though Sabean feels that agent Scott Boras will be "thorough" (aka lengthy discussions). Skipper Bruce Bochy said that Nate Scheirholtz's spot in right field is 'his to lose' in 2012, but if Beltran returns I'd highly doubt that.
Buster Posey will be the everyday catcher, though he will need a steady backup as he will probably be getting more days off behind the plate than before. Sabean does not feel that Hector Sanchez can fill that role at this time. Baggarly predicts a likely return for Chris Stewart.
Justin Christian won't be a starting center fielder, a place Sabean sighted for much improvement next year. This is where a trade for someone like Coco Crisp may come into play. Brandon Crawford's play in winter ball will likely influence the team's desire for a shortstop.
There are no offseason surgeries planned for anyone; not Brian Wilson, not Pablo Sandoval, no one. Freddy Sanchez should be ready to go for next season, Cody Ross will get "due considerations" as to getting a new contract.
And last but not least is Aubrey Huff. Baggarly referenced this presser as "use Aubrey Huff as a pinata" day after getting essentially called out for being out of shape, not taking offseason workouts seriously, and not taking his share of the load.
"Aubrey knows it's going to be different. That can't happen again or you've got to make changes," Bochy said.
It's going to be a long offseason folks, get settled in until Spring...