San Francisco Giants 2016 free agency: Top target list and likely SP/OF signings

By Matthew Connolly
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Aug 22, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Mike Leake (13) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Scenario 1: Blockbuster. Marlon Byrd doesn’t hit the 550 required plate appearances to vest into an $8 million deal, and the Giants decide Nori Aoki—affordable 2016 option aside—isn’t who they want in left field going forward. Instead, they ink Jayson Heyward or Justin Upton to a long-term deal, and add a second-tier starter (likely Leake) to slot behind Madison Bumgarner.

Conclusion: Heyward/Upton (OF) + Leake (SP)

Scenario 2: Blockbuster (Version II). Byrd doesn’t vest, and the Giants bring back Aoki before paying up for Mike Leake and either Price, Kazmir or Zimmerman. Price himself has been dropping hints with his Mad-Bum bromance (why must you tease us, David…) but the other two would be way less pricey (no pun intended), particularly Kazmir given that he’s two years north of 30.

Conclusion: Price/Kazmir/Zimmerman (SP) + Leake (SP) + Aoki and/or Byrd (OF)

Note: In this scenario, Byrd could come back on a more club-friendly deal.

Scenario 3: Playing it by the book. The Giants take Aoki and/or Byrd back (sans vest) and sign Leake to a long-term deal before locking up another proven, but not flashy, bat and/or arm. Going for just one, they could add a Gordon or Samardzija type, but going bargain hunting for something along the lines of Gallardo/Chen plus Zobrist/Parra would also be feasible.

Getting bang for buck is the Giants’ way, after all.

Conclusion: Leake (SP) + Samardzija/Gallardo/Chen (SP) + Aoki and/or Byrd  (OF) + Gordon/Zobrist/Parra (OF)

Apologies for all of the ifs…the domino effect has taken hold!

Kidding. I haven’t forgotten that likelihood is what I promised, so let me give it to you straight: Scenario 3 would typically be the best bet, but the Giants are sitting on way too much cash to follow their traditional blueprint. They also aren’t too fond of overloading on new additions (read: tampering with clubhouse chemistry).

I say they go bigger. Which blockbuster, then, comes to fruition?

Next: SP & OF outcome