But left-hander Noah Lowry's salary will double to $4.5 million next year, Cain will receive nearly a $2 million raise to $2.65 million and Zito gets a $4 million hike to $18.5 million. And possible Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum will be due some sort of raise, although the Giants conceivably can grossly underpay him since he isn't arbitration-eligible and they can set his salary.
Flexibility is something the Giants definitely can afford. They could sign an infielder to play either corner, since Pablo Sandoval can be inserted at first or third. Or, since Emmanuel Burriss is capable at second base or shortstop, they can consider a middle infielder to fill one of those two spots. In that event, Kevin Frandsen, projected to be a leading second-base candidate, might move to third.First baseman Mark Teixeira probably will latch onto a richer, higher-profile club. But the Giants could have a chance at the likes of third baseman Casey Blake, first baseman/outfielder Adam Dunn, shortstop Rafael Furcal, second baseman Orlando Hudson and infielder Juan Uribe. Dunn is the most powerful of the bunch, and perhaps the biggest gamble, given his poor defense and awful career numbers at AT&T Park, where he has hit .157 (14-for-89) with four home runs and 13 RBIs in 24 games. His .558 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) at San Francisco is his lowest at any ballpark where he has accumulated more than 100 plate appearances. Yet Dunn's performance at San Diego's PETCO Park, which also favors pitchers, suggests that he could adjust to AT&T. He has compiled a .318 batting average and an 1.133 OPS with seven homers in 66 at-bats at PETCO. The list of competent relievers who could attract the Giants includes Jeremy Affeldt, Joe Beimel, Juan Cruz, Damaso Marte, Will Ohman, Dennys Reyes and David Weathers. Sabean already has announced that he won't re-sign Vizquel, the 11-time Gold Glove Award winner who hit .222 in 92 games as he turned 41 this year. The possibility exists of a return for Aurilia, who finished at .283 with 10 homers and 52 RBIs and can play any infield spot, although Sabean has said than any agreement with him probably would be forged late in the offseason.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.