There's already rumors about who the Giants might pursue next year, but before Brian Sabean concerns himself with someone else's free-agent, All-Star outfielder ... what about the Giants own free-agent, All-Star outfielder?
That would be, specifically, Melky Cabrera, who reiterated on Monday that he loves San Francisco and he would be open to a contract extension.
"Of course I would. I'm a free agent next [winter], but the fans and Giants' organization have treated me very well, so I would welcome staying with the Giants," Cabrera said, per Jon Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Melky's not the only one open to this idea -- Sabean previously said he'd be willing to talk turkey with Cabrera during the 2012 season. Of course, that was quickly followed by a report that there hadn't been any progress on a new deal.
That's not necessarily a bad thing, however. Melky's killed the ball the whole first half of the year, batting .353/.391/.910 with an MLB-leading 119 hits plus eight home runs and 10 stolen bases.
That average line is something out of Comic Con, not the Giants outfield. And that's why the Giants can't try to pay Melky right now; he'd be worth well north of what they invested in Aaron Rowand (five years, $60 million ... which they're still paying off) and investing now would be the ultimate buy high.
It makes no sense to talk money with Melky now, because doing so will set an unrealistic floor. And if Melky starts to come back to Earth during the second half, it'll be easier to work out a deal. Maybe he won't, and that's fine -- it'll mean the Giants have a better shot at winning.
But if he doesn't, it might mean he's too expensive for the Giants to lock down moving forward.