Manager Bruce Bochy and GM Brian Sabean held their final news conference of the year Thursday.
They sat down with beat writers for 37 minutes to wrap up the 2010 season and look ahead to 2011.
"To get down to the last week and still be alive -- I consider that a success," Bochy said.
Both answered tough questions about what will happen next. The Giants have approximately $124 million to spend on player salaries, according to Sabean. He said his first challenge will be to identify which players to keep around.
They made it clear that they will keep the team's strong pitching staff intact.
"Our pitching is going to get expensive, and we have to take care of that first," Sabean said. Sabean also said because Barry Zito is under contract, he will be at Spring Training.
Both men will be busy in the coming weeks and months with player evaluations and organizational meetings. There are lots of decision to be made before they play ball again for Opening Day 2012.
Here are a list of free agents:
- Guillermo Mota
- Carlos Beltran
- Cody Ross
- Mark DeRosa
- Javier Lopez
- Pat Burrell
- Orlando Cabrera
Bochy and Sabean made two things clear: Buster Posey will be behind the plate as catcher and Jonathon Sanchez will be back at second.
Sabean was critical of some of the decisions the team made. He said he thought they brought up many of the young players too soon. For fans, some of the best moments of the year included first hits and great plays by the likes of Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Bret Pill and Justice Christian. But it was clear that Sabean saw those moments as entertainment and not something that will keep them employed in the big leagues.
He also said defense was a problem in 2011. "We have to run the bases better. We're gonna have to be resourceful to do that," Sabean said.
Bochy said he expects Aubrey Huff to return in 2011 in 2009 form. Bochy gave credit to Huff for taking responsibility for his lack-luster season and said he knows Huff will challenge himself to make a big comeback (or else) next year.
"He owned up to what happened" and challenged himself to do better, Sabean said. "He's determined to get back to where he was."
That makes the Giants the first defending champion not to make the playoffs since the 2007 St. Louis Cardinals.
Instead of getting ready for the post-season, coaches and players packed up their things and headed home on Thursday.