09/30/08 2:54 PM ET
Giants enter offseason thinking title
Club looking to contend in '09 after likely bolstering offense
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
Free agents: Rich Aurilia, INF.
Eligible for arbitration: Brad Hennessey, RHP; Jack Taschner, LHP; Tyler Walker, RHP.
Player options: None.
Club options: Omar Vizquel, SS, $5.2 million ($300,000 buyout).
Non-tender possibilities: Kevin Correia, RHP.
Bengie Molina, .292 BA, 16 HRs, 95 RBIs
Steve Holm, .262 BA, 1 HRs, 6 RBIs
It's Molina's job for the third consecutive year unless he disappears in a blockbuster trade. That's unlikely, given the Giants' trust in him defensively and offensively.FIRST BASE
Pablo Sandoval, .345 BA, 3 HRs, 24 RBIs
Travis Ishikawa, .274, 3 HRs, 15 RBIs
John Bowker, .255, 10 HRs, 43 RBIs
Sandoval, who also can catch and play third base, has the inside track at the position. General manager Brian Sabean might consider obtaining a player through free agency or a trade to fill this spot, in which case Sandoval might play third.SECOND BASE
Eugenio Velez, .262 BA, .299 OBP, 15 SBs
Kevin Frandsen .000 BA (out for most of 2008, played one game)
This might be Velez's job if he could establish himself defensively. But he hasn't been able to do so, which leaves wiggle room for Frandsen.SHORTSTOP
Emmanuel Burriss, .283 BA, .357 OBP, 13 SBs
Ivan Ochoa, .200 BA, .244 OBP, 0 SBs
This is Burriss' job to lose barring an injury or a colossal slump. The Giants are unlikely to retain Vizquel, and Ochoa likely will settle in as a middle-infield backup.THIRD BASE
Rich Aurilia, .283, 10 HRs, 52 RBIs
Sandoval could fit in here if the Giants obtain a big bat to play first base. If Aurilia returns, it'll be as an infield super-sub.OUTFIELD
Randy Winn, .306, 10 HRs, 64 RBIs
Aaron Rowand, .271, 13 HRs, 70 RBIs
Fred Lewis, .282, 9 HRs, 40 RBIs
Dave Roberts, .224, .341 OBP, 5 SBs
Nate Schierholtz, .320, 1 HR, 5 RBIs
The Lewis-Rowand-Winn trio appears likely to return. But Lewis' comeback from foot surgery isn't a given, so the Giants probably will hold onto what looks like a glut of outfielders, especially when Bowker and Velez are added.ROTATION
Tim Lincecum, 18-5, 2.62 ERA
Barry Zito, 10-17, 5.15 ERA
Matt Cain, 8-14, 3.76 ERA
Jonathan Sanchez, 9-12, 5.01 ERA
The Giants will have to find one, or perhaps two, starters before Opening Day 2009. One of the incumbents -- most likely Sanchez -- could get traded for a hitter, and Noah Lowry keeps hitting speed bumps in his recovery from forearm surgery.BULLPEN
Geno Espineli, 2-0, 5.06 ERA
Alex Hinshaw, 2-1, 3.40 ERA
Osiris Matos, 1-2, 4.79 ERA
Sergio Romo, 3-1, 2.12 ERA
Billy Sadler, 0-1, 4.06 ERA
Jack Taschner, 3-2, 4.88 ERA
Merkin Valdez, 1-0, 1.69 ERA
Tyler Walker, 5-8, 4.56 ERA
Brian Wilson, 3-2, 4.62 ERA, 41 saves
Keiichi Yabu, 3-6, 3.57 ERA
Expect Romo, Hinshaw and Valdez (if healthy) to occupy prominent roles. Wilson could settle in as closer for years to come, but Taschner and Walker could be gone.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.