SF Giants News

Sabean’s Offseason Moves

By Ashley Varela

Sabean and Bochy are here to stay—through 2013, according to their new contracts, and probably much longer than that, if Larry Baer has his way.

Following the announcement, Sabean held a conference call this afternoon, detailing some of the Giants’ plans heading into the Winter Meetings next week.

The Giants are playing it safe and cheap, trying to afford an increasingly expensive pitching staff while trusting newly rehabilitated players to step up their offensive game. While management won’t be pursuing big names like Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols, Sabean also said that the club will be focusing on strengthening both the offense and the outfield in the Winter Meetings, so don’t cross “shiny free agents” off your Christmas list just yet.

The Giants are still in the race to re-sign Beltran, though after looking at Andrew Baggarly’s notes, this doesn’t look very promising. They’re fully aware that an AL club can offer Beltran more years with the added DH position than the Giants are willing to give him. At least the interest is there, which makes me feel more comfortable than the “let’s go with what we have and hope for the best” strategy.

As for the veterans vs. talented rookies debate, Aubrey Huff‘s name was mentioned (by Baggs, not Sabean) as a candidate for left field in 2012, provided the Giants trust Brandon Belt enough to handle first base. Sabean is impressed with the improvements in Belt and Crawford’s approach at the plate this offseason, but whether they’ve come any closer to locking down starting positions is yet to be determined. For now, they’re keeping their options open.

None of this should come as any surprise, since pitching as always been priority #1, and finding an offense / trusting young players falls near the bottom of the list. It’ll be interesting to see what trades are proposed in the weeks to come, or whether we’ll have to rename this team the San Francisco Vets.