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Giants: Remembering the 2011-12 MLB offseason transactions

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 10: National League All-Star Melky Cabrera #53 of the San Francisco Giants holds up the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award after the National League won 8-0 during the 83rd MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 10: National League All-Star Melky Cabrera #53 of the San Francisco Giants holds up the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award after the National League won 8-0 during the 83rd MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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With the 2019-20 MLB offseason right around the corner, let’s take a look back at how the San Francisco Giants fared in recent offseasons. Next up, the 2011-12 offseason.

The San Francisco Giants followed up their surprise run to a World Series title in 2010 by failing to reach the postseason in 2011.

Despite that disappointing finish, their window to contend was still open heading into the offseason, and they set to work retooling the roster with several notable transactions.

We’ve already looked back on the 2009-10 offseason and the 2010-11 offseason, so now it’s time to look back on what the team did leading up to the 2012 season.

Here’s a closer look at all of the notable moves the team made that winter:

Notable Free Agency Departures

  • OF Carlos Beltran
  • OF Pat Burrell
  • IF Mark DeRosa
  • IF Jeff Keppinger
  • IF Orlando Cabrera

The Giants made the bold move to trade for Carlos Beltran at the 2011 trade deadline, sacrificing top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler in the process. He hit .323/.369/.551 with 20 extra-base hits in 44 games following the trade, but he was never meant to be anything more than a hired gun.

As one of the most sought after free agents on the market, he ended up signing a seven-year, $119 million deal with the New York Mets.

Infielders Orlando Cabrera and Jeff Keppinger were also both deadline pickups who moved on at the season’s end.

Along with the departure of those rentals, the Giants also got out from under the ill-advised contract of Mark DeRosa (2/$12 million), while an underperforming Pat Burrell also called it a career after failing to match his 2010 success.

Notable Free Agency Additions

  • IF Ryan Theriot (1 year, $1.25 million)
  • RP Guillermo Mota (1 year, $1 million)—re-signed
  • RP Clay Hensley (1 year, $750,000)
  • OF Gregor Blanco (MiLB deal)
  • IF Joaquin Arias (MiLB deal)
  • RP Yusmeiro Petit (MiLB deal)

Despite having some money coming off the books, the San Francisco Giants didn’t spend big during the 2011-12 offseason by any means.

Infielder Ryan Theriot served as the team’s primary second baseman for the bulk of the 2012 season, hitting .270/.316/.321 with 17 extra-base hits and 13 steals in 104 games. He was eventually replaced for the stretch run when the team traded for Marco Scutaro.

Clay Hensley (60 G, 3 SV, 8 HLD, 4.62 ERA) and Guillermo Mota (26 G, 10 HLD, 5.23 ERA) both saw significant action out of the bullpen, while Gregor Blanco (453 PA, 94 OPS+) and Joaquin Arias (344 PA, 97 OPS+) were the most oft-used players off the team’s bench.

The wild-card here was Yusmeiro Petit. He made just one appearance at the MLB level in 2012, allowing seven hits and two earned runs in 4.2 innings in a spot start, but would emerge as a key contributor in the years to come.

Notable Trades

  • SP Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo traded to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for OF Melky Cabrera
  • OF Andres Torres, RP Ramon Ramirez traded to the New York Mets in exchange for OF Angel Pagan.

While there were no splashy additions made in free agency, the team did pull the trigger on a pair of significant trades.

Rotation staple Jonathan Sanchez was sent to the Royals in exchange for outfielder Melky Cabrera, who hit .346/.390/.516 with 25 doubles, 10 triples, and 11 home runs in 501 plate appearances before he was slapped with a PED suspension.

He won All-Star Game MVP and helped the team to a strong start, but he was ultimately a non-factor during the postseason.

The other trade saw a swap of center fielders, with Andres Torres sent to the Mets in exchange for Angel Pagan, who went on to be the team’s primary table-setter during the 2012 season.

He batted .288/.338/.440 with 38 doubles, 15 triples and eight home runs, stealing 29 bases and scoring 95 runs en route to a 4.2 WAR season.

Remembering the 2010-11 MLB offseason. Next

The San Francisco Giants finished the 2012 season at 94-68, winning the NL West title and knocking off the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals before sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. Next up, we’ll take a look at the offseason immediately following the team’s second title in three years.

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