Though it wasn't official at the time, it was made pretty apparent in the Giants' postseason press conference last week that both manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean would be returning to the team for the 2010 season. On Tuesday, it became official, as both signed 2 year extensions with the Giants, with a club option for 2012 on both.
I'm still not too thrilled with the fact that both of these guys are going to stick around for another couple of seasons, but the deals are done, and I'm not going to sit here and magnify the mistakes these guys have made over the last couple of years. Sabean has been  hit-or-miss in the free agent market over the past 5 years, with most of his moves coming up as misses. The area in which he has succeeded in though, is rebuilding this teams farm system. The organization, from top to bottom, is in much better shape now than it's been at any point this decade, and I think that is what ultimately got him his extension. The Giants are giving him two more seasons to see if he can finish off what he's started building here over the last few drafts, but if the Giants can't make the postseason in the next two years, I'd say Sabeans' run will finally come to an end. Bochy also will be here through 2011 with Sabean, and although I see the logic in bringing him back, I've not been too impressed with Boch in his time here running the team. That said, he did get his bunch to overachieve mightily this year, and the Giants' brass likely feels that he's the guy that's going to lead them back to the postseason. I just wasn't a fan of the way Boch filled out his lineup card on a nightly basis, such as the continues use of Bengie Molina in the cleanup spot, even when he was clearly struggling and hurting the team in that spot. On a positive side though, I do like how he'll play guys who are playing well, like playing Juan Uribe over Ryan Garko on most nights when Uribe was roping the ball and Garko was struggling. I'm really going to be interested to see how the Bochy/Sabean tandem pans out in 2010, as both will have expectations for the first time in a few years.
Sabean's going to have an interesting agenda this winter, as he'll try and add offense to the team without disrupting their great chemistry they have amongst their pitching staff. This team was really a hitter or two away from being a legit contender, and Sabean will be hard at work trying  to find those bats this offseason. I just really hope he doesn't overpay, whether it be via a trade or free agency. The whole baseball world is aware of the Giants strengths and weaknesses, and teams know they're going to be in search of offense. The Chronicle's Bruce Jenkins wrote a piece last week in which he listed a few potential trade options for the Giants this winter, but none of the potential game changing, middle of the order bats the Giants need could likely be had without subtracting from their pitching staff. The one guy who's seemingly been mentioned every year over the last few seasons as a potential trade chip is Jonathan Sanchez. The 26 year-old lefty is coming off his best season as a pro (including a no-hit performance in July) and really started reaching his potential this year. He's the one guy I'd deem expendable in the right situation, since they have Madison Bumgarner so close to being ready to take a spot in the Giants rotation.
Trade Target: One name from Jenkins article that I would really like to see the Giants pursue if possible is B.J. Upton. I'm fairly certain that he'd cost the Giants more than just Jonathan Sanchez, but he's the type of guy I'd consider putting together a nice package for, especially since he's coming off a sub-par year and his trade value could be at an all-time low. Apparantly the Rays are really focused on signing Carl Crawford to an extension, and they have 22 year-old top prospect Desmond Jennings (.320, 11 HR, 62 RBI, 52 SB in AA and AAA in '09), ready to start his big league career. The Rays are not likely actively seeking to deal Upton, but I'm sure he could be had in for the right deal.
Trevor Cole The Giants Baseball Blog