Originally posted on SF Giants Nirvana  |  Last updated 12/23/11

The Cardinals signed Carlos Beltran today to a two-year $25MM deal. It’s an extremely reasonable contract, and one that has the potential to be a bargain if Beltran manages to stay healthy. But even if he doesn’t (which is obviously the more likely scenario), even if he misses 100+ games over the next two years, it’s a pretty solid contract. The Giants had talks with Beltran but they didn’t pursue him very hard, which is naturally frustrating — considering that the Giants had a historically weak offense in 2011, and that they have the resources to facilitate such a signing: It’s Aubrey Huff money, not Prince Fielder money. The organization gave up its top pitching prospect for Beltran, still fell eight games short of winning the division, then made no kind of serious effort to re-sign him.

As it stands now, this offseason looks like somewhat of a mess; Wendy Thurm discussed this at length in a recent Fangraphs article. The Giants entered the offseason with one major need: hitting, hitting, hitting. And while the Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera acquisitions do a little bit to address this, they’re hardly solutions. The team has spent little this winter, and what little they’ve spent has mostly gone to the pair of Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez. The vast majority of their free agent spending has gone to a pair of relievers.

But let’s focus on what this is all about: Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. As of this moment in time, it’s hard to conceive why Cain wouldn’t want to test the free agent market. Worse pitchers have been cashing in on lucrative long-term contracts of late, and Cain is a special case in that he becomes a free agent at a relatively young age. Why wouldn’t he want to maximize his potential earnings (and sign with a team that would provide better run support, for that matter)? The same goes for Lincecum, who is set to hit the free agent market a year after Cain. However, this is an area where the Giants know better than anyone else what their odds are of retaining the two. They are, after all, basing their future plans on securing the rotation.

The storyline today is something like this:

The Giants, who sold out every single home game this season, weren’t willing to shell out an extra $10MM for 2012 in order to retain a hitter that would have substantially improved their offense — a hitter for whom they gave up their top pitching prospect. Instead, they chose to allocate most of their funds toward retaining a pair of LOOGYs. 

This is a gross oversimplification, but that’s largely how it’s been perceived. Maybe that’ll be the case once Opening Day comes around. Maybe it won’t. If the Giants extend both Lincecum and Cain, they effectively extend their window of opportunity. Huff and Aaron Rowand come off the books in 2013, and the Giants will conceivably have a solid hitting core formed by that point in Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Pablo Sandoval, and Gary Brown. Again, it’s hard to see both Lincecum and Cain settling on extensions before hitting free agency, but the team seems to have structured their plans on retaining the two, so they must feel confident in their abilities to do so. For the time being, I’m willing to give the organization the benefit of the doubt.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Refs admit Dion Waiters should have been called for foul

Report: Peyton Manning told TV networks he is not interested

Jerry Jones pulling for Johnny Manziel to get life back on track

Calgary Flames fire head coach Bob Hartley

Ji-Man Choi says he saw ghost at haunted Milwaukee hotel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eight most important players in second round of NBA Playoffs

H.S. football player arrested over indecent yearbook photo

Kevin Love hurts shoulder after Kent Bazemore lands on it

Trump picks up endorsement from Lou Holtz, Gene Keady

Did Lakers commit tampering violation with Magic’s tweets?

Larry Bird, Pacers don’t sound committed to Frank Vogel

John Harbaugh likens fourth round of NFL Draft to Star Trek

Four MLB stars that must be traded in 2016

Ten best fits from Round 1 of 2016 NFL Draft

Stephen Curry wife rejected him first time he went for a kiss

WATCH: Billy Donovan plays dumb about SAS-OKC final play

Some questions about Space Jam 2 that need answers

Durant talks about getting name-drop on Drake's album

Hulk Hogan suing Gawker for leaking tape of racist rant

Randy Johnson to have street at Chase Field named after him

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Barry Trotz is disappointed with Brooks Orpik suspension

Lou Lamoriello hopes the Leafs never get the first pick again

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

How the Sharks have 'weathered the storm' against the Predators

Okay, who stole the Kansas City Royals player off that billboard?

Eight players to watch in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

A Round-By-Round Look At the NFL Draft

10 biggest takeaways from the NBA playoffs thus far

QUIZ: Name every No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1985

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Sharks vs. Predators

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Blues vs. Stars

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Capitals vs. Penguins

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker