ORLANDO, Fla. -- When the Giants training staff checked in with Buster Posey recently, the former National League MVP had a goal in mind.
"He's trying to get a little stronger in the lower half," trainer Dave Groeschner said Monday, the first day of the annual Winter Meetings.
Near the end of a disappointing second half of last season, Posey said he would do additional strength training this offseason so that he might "feel good all year." Posey was an All-Star in 2013 after hitting .325 with 13 home runs before the break, but he hit just .244 with two homers in the second half. The Giants believe the long offseason will benefit Posey, who squeezed a winter of rehab between two World Series runs.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Posey will get his usual workload behind the plate next season, but he might see a role change thanks to the development of Brandon Belt. Posey started 45 games at first base the past two seasons, but Bochy anticipates Belt making 150-plus starts there next season.
"With (Belt's) growth in the second half (last season), you're going to want to have him out there as much as you can, and that's probably going to help Buster," Bochy said. "That's not a day off, (when Posey) plays first. Buster wants to catch more."
Bochy reiterated that Belt, who had a .915 OPS after the All-Star break, is unlikely to see any time in left field. In that department, the Giants continue to wait out the market.
"We're trying to explore everyday left-field options," general manager Brian Sabean said, "which at this point are not coming to fruition, or they're not out there."
Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez are the current options on the roster, and Sabean said he will continue to look for upgrades. But the longtime G.M., who signed outfielder Hunter Pence to a $90 million deal before the end of last season, doesn't feel any pressure to make a bold move.
"We've done a lot to this point to feel good about," he said. "We've done the heavy lifting."
The same can't be said for the rest of the division. The Texas Rangers reportedly are a finalist for outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. The Los Angeles Angels are dangling slugger Mark Trumbo in search of starting pitchers. Having already agreed to a $240 million deal with Robinson Cano, the Seattle Mariners are rumored to have turned their sights on Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price.
"I could have done without Cano in our division, certainly," Forst said, smiling. "And I fully expect the Rangers and Angels to make significant moves as well. We know we're in one of the toughest divisions in baseball."
The A's also know that they're still sitting pretty after bolstering their bullpen and bench, trading for outfielder Craig Gentry and signing left-hander Scott Kazmir.
"I'm really happy with the team we have coming back," Forst said.