It was just over a year ago that we looked at Brian Sabean's vacation of an offseason and wondered if the San Francisco Giants could really afford to stand so pat after winning a World Series championship.
Halfway through this hot stove season, it's looking like we could swap a few names and pretty much run the same post.
The biggest difference, of course, would be that Giants fans are no longer drunk from the post-title celebration and are instead getting a bit ornery.
While the fans' outlook in 2010 was optimistic about getting full seasons from Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez, as well as a breakout year from Brandon Belt, the feeling for 2011 is a lot different (even if they can still get those three things) .
Meaningful reinforcements for the lineup are needed, yet they don't seem to be on their way, writes Chris Quick of Bay City Ball:
The Giants took the worst scoring team in the National League and added (or kept) Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan, Eli Whiteside, and Emmanuel Burris.
After keeping those players, the Giants said, "… annnnd done" while walking away and dusting their hands loudly. And that isn't to say that I hate all the previous players I just mentioned, but each day it's looking like a real possibility that Carlos Beltran (the guy we traded our #1 prospect for) is going to land a two or three year deal at a pretty reasonable rate. And when that happens I'm going to have a hard time controlling my fan rage.
Cwik should be prepared to get his angry on, because Beltran is said to be close to signing somewhere and the Giants aren't one of the five rumored landing spots.
Not that Beltran would be the ultimate answer for the Giants' offense in 2012. Truth be told, I'm not sure there's anyone still out there — short of giving Prince Fielder the Bay Bridge for the next eight or nine years or his life — that would prove to be the magical solution. If the Giants offense is to improve in 2012, it will likely come as a result of Posey, Sanchez and Belt providing what they couldn't — or in the case of Belt, were prevented from — in 2011.
Still, you can understand why Giants fans like Wendy Thurm over at Fangraphs are so frustrated. Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan are not enough to get anyone excited and they can't even take solace in a contract extension for Tim Lincecum or Matt Cain as a quasi-consolation prize. While the defending division champs get better in Arizona with the addition of Trevor Cahill and the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate the emergence of Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw as a power core for the next decade, Giants fans are left to experience déjà vu all over again.