It is widely publicized that the San Francisco Giants front-office, particularly VP Brian Sabean and GM Bobby Evans, have quite the off-season to look forward to. With the losses of Tim Hudson and Jeremy Affeldt to retirement and the potential exits of Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong, and others to free agency, the 2016 Giants are more than likely going to look nothing like the 2015 Giants.
When the month of November breaks, the free agency madness begins, but San Francisco seems to already be moving in the right direction and making their priorities known. As mentioned previously, San Francisco’s free agency priority will be landing a top-tier starting pitcher to throw alongside ace Madison Bumgarner. The rest is to be determined.
Nonetheless, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has announced that Sabean and Evans have already made some decisions on who they want to retain and who they want to target in free agency.
Earlier Friday evening, Heyman reported that San Francisco is planning on picking up outfielder Nori Aoki’s 1 year/$5.5 million option. Aoki assumed the Giants lead-off role last season before suffering multiple injuries, including a concussion due to a wild pitch to the head of Aoki back in August.
As for the other corner outfield spot, Heyman also reported that the Giants will likely not have the $8 million option exercised for Marlon Byrd. The 38-year-old Byrd made quite the impression, but his age and the assumption of Hunter Pence returning to his natural healthy self would limit Byrd to a pinch hitting and bench role.
Sep 3, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Nori Aoki (23) bats in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Rockies defeated the Giants 11-3. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Heyman has been on the prowl for Giants insight as he also reported that San Francisco, as expected, will target Los Angeles Dodgers right-handed pitcher and 2015 NL Cy Young contender Zack Greinke in free agency. The three-time All Star has officially reported that he will opt out of the final three years on his contract after having another terrific statistical season. Greinke led all MLB starters with a 1.66 ERA, and the tandem of he and Clayton Kershaw were arguably the best pitching duo in the league.
Stay tuned for more updates and insight on whether or not Greinke will find himself in a San Francisco Giants uniform next season, but count on at least one big name free agent heading to the City by the Bay very soon.