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11/23/10 9:30 PM EST

Sandoval steps up offseason approach

SAN FRANCISCO -- In his efforts to improve his physical condition, Pablo Sandoval has shifted his training base from San Diego to the Phoenix area.

Giants general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy explained that though Sandoval won't work under the direct supervision of the athletic training staff at its Scottsdale complex, the club will be able to monitor his progress more easily.

Nobody from the Giants pushed Sandoval to make the switch.

"This was all Pablo," Bochy said.

Belt remains on fast track to big leagues

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' re-signing of Aubrey Huff to a two-year contract with an option for a third won't necessarily block Brandon Belt's anticipated ascent to the Major Leagues, though both play first base and the outfield corners.

The Giants easily could use Huff at first base and Belt in the outfield, or vice versa.

"He's on the same track as [Buster] Posey, which is very fast," Sabean said of Belt, 22, who hit a combined .352 with 23 homers and 112 RBIs at three Minor League classifications this year. "While we don't want to rush him, we want to keep an open mind. When he's ready, he's going to be here and hopefully producing as a left-handed hitter in one of those spots."

Said Bochy, "I think this kid's going to make some noise in Spring Training."

Huff hopes to see Burrell return

SAN FRANCISCO -- Not surprisingly, Aubrey Huff on Tuesday delivered his endorsement for the Giants to re-sign Pat Burrell, though GM Brian Sabean said he has told the free-agent left fielder that the club wouldn't address the possibility of bringing him back until late in the offseason.

Huff said that he remains "extremely hopeful" for the return of his University of Miami teammate.

"We feed off each other in the clubhouse," Huff said. "I like to think I had some fun before he got there, but I had double the fun when he got there. ... He was a big part of the reason we got there this year. He didn't have a great playoff, but we're not there without him."

Giants up for SI's Sportsman of Year

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants, collectively, have been nominated for Sports Illustrated magazine's prestigious Sportsman of the Year award. As a news release explained, senior writer Tom Verducci nominated the Giants because "they embody the definition of what a team is supposed to be."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.