From the after-glow of a third world championship, the Giants front office face a difficult off season with plenty of questions to ask. Can they afford to resign Pablo Sandoval? What will the starting rotation look like next season? Who will be their regular left fielder? Is it time to move Buster Posey from behind the plate to first base?
The upside is that the core group of players (Posey, Hunter Pence, Madison Bumgarner, Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford) will be with the club for at least four more years. The possibility of winning at least two more world championships in the next five years is possible. So with that said, now is not the time for the Giants to stand pat. They must strike while the iron is hot, and fill some missing gaps that will ensure their return to the postseason.
First, we do not foresee the Giants resigning Pablo Sandoval. The dollars and years that the Yankees and Red Sox are ready to offer him will be simply too much for the Giants. Especially after a red hot postseason, Pablo has ensured himself of a big pay day. We expect Matt Duffy getting the nod as a temporary third base replacement.
Second, the starting pitching is a big concern. Will they resign Ryan Vogelsong? We don't see that happening. The Giants has squeezed every possible result from Vogey, and with an aging staff, they have to go younger and cheaper. Plus, Yusmeiro Petit has earned every right to become a starting pitcher for the Giants.
Third, Michael Morse is better suited to the American League as a part-time outfielder and full-time DH. We don't expect Travis Ishikawa to be on the club next season, nor do we expect Gregor Blanco being anointed the regular left fielder. Here, we see the Giants making the biggest play in the off season. Our prediction is that the Giants will trade for Yoenis Cespedes. The blockbuster trade will see Brandon Belt being shipped up to Boston and Cespedes returning to the Bay. By making this trade, the Giants solve their left field position, and have someone replace the lovable Panda.
Fourth, with Belt traded to Boston, now is the perfect time for Posey to play first base full time. The Giants simply cannot risk Posey getting injured from catching. The foul tips to the mask was too frequent in 2014, and they can't have another Matheny-like incident happening to them. Plus, the numbers prove that Posey is better hitter when playing first base. In addition, we all saw what catching a full season did to Posey in the World Series - he was a non-factor at the plate.