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How Did the Giants Actually Do It?

Revisiting. 07: 82 OPS+/ 107 ERA+ 71-91 5th place 08: 83 OPS+/ 102 ERA+ 72-90 4th place 09: 82 OPS+/ 121 ERA+ 88-74 3rd place 10: 95 OPS+/ 121 ERA+ 92-70 1st place, World Series Champs They could see the pitching coming as soon as 07 -- Lincecum/Cain were a pair of aces and Jonathan Sanchez had potential as a complementary part. It wasn't rocket science to see the 120 ERA+ coming. So how did the offense evolve? Here are lists of all the guys who had at least 200 PA and at least 90 OPS+ for each year: 2007 Barry Bonds 169 Randy Winn 104 Ryan Klesko 92 2008 Ray Durham 109 Winn 105 Fred Lewis 105 Bengie Molina 98 Aaron Rowand 94 Rich Aurilia 93 2009 Pablo Sandoval 144 Juan Uribe 112 Lewis 93 Rowand 92 2010 Aubrey Huff 138 Pat Burrell 132 Buster Posey 129 Andres Torres 119 Uribe 99 Freddy Sanchez 98 Sandoval 95 Edgar Renteria 90 Noteworthy: -- the complete turnover of the offense between 07 and 09 -- the exact same result from "superstar Bonds + mediocre old guys" in 07 and "no Bonds + more mediocre old guys" in 08 -- they did not add ONE player in 08 that ultimately affected their 10 roster. Not one. They were content to let Ray Durham and Randy Winn be their offensive leaders. Sandoval did come up at 21 and OPS+ 118 in 41 G. -- after the 08 season, they added Renteria in a big-money deal and Uribe in a small-money deal, then they brought in Sanchez in the middle of a long-term contract at the 09 deadline. -- Bochy came in as manager in 07 and was at the helm the entire period. -- Then, in 10: ----- Posey comes up huge as a rookie ----- "scrap heap" guys Huff ($3M FA), Burrell, Torres and Ross (all essentially minimum salary) all turn in good years simultaneously ----- pitching was a brilliant as expected This looks to me like exactly Sandy's lesson about not adding the restrictive big-money deals until after you know you've got a young core in place. They knew that Lincecum/Cain (with Jo. Sanchez and Wilson) were going to deliver if healthy. And that is when they started to add Renteria and F. Sanchez, and all the other smaller parts that paid off, like Uribe (09) and Huff (10). So, Query: Do the Ms need to suffer through another medicore offensive year in order to position themselves for 2012 and beyond? Maybe not. But it is awfully clear that the Giants restraint in not signing guys to restrictive deals after Bonds was done, and letting the pitching develop with managerial stability in the meantime, paid off as handsomely as it gets.