The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Giants Could Bump Payroll for Big Name

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    The Giants don't seem like "big spenders," per se. This is really more because they have homegrown pitching and don't have any offense than it is because they don't spend.

    Just ask Aaron Rowand, Barry Zito and Aubrey Huff, all of whom are paid exorbitant amounts of money for little production. Last year, in fact, payroll jumped 25 percent -- but according to Brian Sabean, it's highly unlikely to jump again in 2012.

    Sabean said as much in a recent interview on NBC Bay Area with Henry Schulman, but he also gave some hope to Giants fans who hope that the team will lock down some offense.

    Despite saying payroll would be "in and around" $125 million, Sabean also said he could go to ownership and "ask for more money based on a specific player they are targeting."

    The first set of cash is earmarked for getting Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum locked down for the future and re-signing free agents and handling anyone who's eligible for arbitration.

    But that's going to cost a pretty penny -- if Sabean is getting close with Carlos Beltran, who's reportedly interested in coming back to the Giants, or perhaps with another free agent like Jimmy Rollins, he'll be able to go and ask ownership for money to land a big(gish) name.

    This is a pretty logical way to run the payroll, provided there's no set expansion this year. After all, the Giants are on an incredible sellout streak at AT&T Park and just set a record for attendance in 2011.

    The fans love the team, despite missing the playoffs this year, and will probably love it even more if Sabean and ownership can lock up some potent offensive talent to compliment one of the best rotations in the big leagues.

    A big name like a Beltran or a Rollins would only ensure tickets remaining sold and more jerseys and Giants products flying off the shelf, likely making any additional investment worth its weight.