But the Giants lack the abundance of Major League-ready prospects or reserves who would enable them to trade for the starting pitching they seek. That means resorting to free agency. The Giants have been linked to numerous free-agent starters, including elite performers such as David Price and Zack Greinke who might command approximately $30 million per year. Even lower-profile starters, including those the Giants have eyed such as Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake, are projected to fetch salaries approaching or exceeding $20 million annually.
This has prompted speculation that the Giants might feel compelled to create even more payroll room -- hence the possibility of jettisoning complementary performers such as Petit and Sanchez. As salary-arbitration-eligible players, both would be likely to receive only modest wage increases. Petit earned $2.1 million last season; Sanchez's salary was $800,000.
Giants general manager Bobby Evans declined to comment Monday on Wednesday's deadline, set for 8:59 p.m. PT, or the players who might be affected by it. Evans expressed respect for Petit by saying last month, "It'll be a hard decision to make if we decide not to tender him."
Maintaining his long-relief role throughout the season, Petit appeared in a career-high 42 games and finished 1-1 with a 3.67 ERA.
Sanchez again struggled with concussion issues this year before sustaining multiple left leg injuries while crossing first base in a Sept. 5 game. He batted .179 with one homer and five RBIs in 28 games for the Giants, besides hitting .273 in 37 games with Triple-A Sacramento.
Also, infielder Kelby Tomlinson's late-season emergence could fuel the Giants' reluctance to tender Ehire Adrianza a contract. Not yet arbitration-eligible, Adrianza hit .186 in 52 games this year for the Giants and .316 in 44 games with Sacramento. Adrianza's job security appeared tenuous since San Francisco designated him for assignment on April 5. Though Adrianza started 31 games as a Giant, Tomlinson provided similar versatility and hit .303 in 54 games with San Francisco.
If any of the three is non-tendered, the Giants likely would be willing to negotiate deals to keep the player within the organization.