Giants: World Series and Beyond

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Giants: World Series and Beyond

Photo Courtesy of AP

Photo Courtesy of AP

Photo Courtesy of AP

Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers may be the true power hitter the SF Giants are looking for.

Jimmy Merrill, Staff Writer

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After two torturous series, the San Francisco Giants swept the American League Champion Detroit Tigers in 2012 World Series. While all the focus now is on the World Series win, the Giants will soon need to turn their attention to the 2013 season.

When the Giants returned to the playoff s this 2012 season, most baseball experts and writers expected them to be eliminated in the first round. Despite coming back from a 0-2 defi cit in the NLDS, experts predicted the Giants would fall to the defending World Series Champion the St. Louis Cardinals. Now the Giants are World Champions for the second time in the past three years. Many people compare the 2010 team to the 2012 team, but the only real common denominator is that Giants general manager Brian Sabean put them both together.

Sabean is currently the longest tenured general manager in Major League Baseball and he continues to prove why that is. When Sabean traded for New York Mets center fielder Angel Pagan, it didn’t make any headlines. After Sabean acquired infielder Marco Scutaro from Colorado, baseball experts fi gured Scutaro would be used in a bench role. Now Pagan and Scutaro are the driving forces at the top of the Giants lineup, coming up with clutch hits and providing Gold Glove defense.

Scutaro was named the Most Valuable Player of the National League Championship Series and Pagan set a new San Francisco Giants franchise record with 15 triples in the regular season. Sabean made two trades that were not considered “blockbuster,” but you can argue that. Pagan and Scutaro have been the two best trades in baseball this year.

Pagan and Scutaro will be free agents at the end of the 2012 season. Sabean and his team will have to try hard to retain the pair. However, with both having the best years of their careers, it will require multiple years and a large pay raise to hang on to them. Sabean has made it clear that his intention is to keep both in the orange and black beyond 2012.

Sabean recently spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle’s national baseball writer John Shea about the impending free agents. “We want Pagan back. We want Scutaro back.” Sabean said.

When asked about the situation in left field, Sabean quickly dismissed any notion that recently suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera could be roaming the outfield in San Francisco next year. “We’re not going to get into Melky,” Sabean told Shea.

So what will the Giants do in left field? Will they trade for an outfielder? Could Gregor Blanco be the starting leftfi elder? As of now, we don’t have the answers to those questions. But one outfi elder in the 2013 free agent class would make a huge impact to the San Francisco Giants.

Josh Hamilton has put together quite the resume since returning to baseball after years of struggling with drugs and alcohol. Since joining the Texas Rangers in 2008, Hamilton has hit 142 homeruns, collected 506 RBI and batted .305. He was also named the American League Most Valuable Player award in 2010 and led his team to back-to-back World Series appearances.

The Giants have lacked a true power hitter ever since infamous No. 25 took his last at-bat in 2007. The team must take advantage of the opportunity to add a hitter with Hamilton’s credentials. It would be an uncharacteristic move of Sabean, but signing Hamilton could change the entire outlook of the National League.

Hamilton will likely want a contract lasting fi ve years with an average annual salary of $25 million a year. After 162 consecutive sellouts at AT&T Park and a lot of merchandise sales, the Giants definitely have the money to sign Hamilton. According to ESPN baseball writer Buster Olney, several top National League executives expect that Hamilton will land in the city by the bay come 2013.

It is obviously too early to tell if Hamilton will sign with the Giants, but once the World Series ends, the floodgate of rumors will open. Hamilton and the Giants will be linked to each other the entire off -season until Hamilton actually signs somewhere.

So will Josh Hamilton actually be a San Francisco Giant next year? Who knows, but it is sure fun to speculate.

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