Padres general manager Kevin Towers doesn't buy it.
"Knowing the Giants and their commitment to winning, I wouldn't be surprised if they went after a marquee player next year," said Towers, before the Giants' 9-4 victory over San Diego at AT&T Park on Monday night. "They've always been that type of organization. Even though they want to get younger, they'll be very aggressive on the free-agent market. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up landing one or maybe two marquee players to fill in that void if they can."
The void will be created once Barry Bonds leaves the scene. He did not play Monday and is down to his final two games as a Giant in San Francisco.
Scott Boras, who represents one and possibly two of the biggest free-agent hitters, said he shares Towers' view. Boras said he expected the Giants to call about center fielder Andruw Jones.
"I don't see how they can't," said Boras, who watched from the Dugout Club seats.
Boras didn't mention his biggest client, Alex Rodriguez, who could become a free agent if he opts out of his contract with the New York Yankees.
But the Giants showed they could score runs in their home ballpark without a home run. They strung together hits against right-hander Chris Young and ran the bases aggressively while setting back San Diego's playoff quest.
The Padres fell into a tie with idle Philadelphia for the National League wild card with six games to play. The Padres also fell another half-game behind in the National League West, where they trail Arizona by three.
Barry Zito (10-13) pitched through one giant jam, allowing runs in four of his five innings but avoiding any major disasters. He even had one of the club's many two-out hits, rapping a single that scored Omar Vizquel in the second inning.
Vizquel was the hitting star of the day, going 3-for-4 and driving in four runs. He hit a run-scoring triple in the second inning and a two-run single in the third.
Fred Lewis also made an impact in his first start since returning from the minor leagues, hitting two singles, stealing a base and driving in a run.
It's the kind of offensive game that eluded the Giants for most of the season, when they struggled to execute with runners on base. The Padres haven't been much better, but they support two All-Star pitchers (Young, Jake Peavy) and a future Hall of Famer (Greg Maddux) with a reliable bullpen.
The Giants bullpen hasn't been so reliable. Even with a five-run lead in the ninth inning, Bochy had to bring in setup man Tyler Walker, and he had closer Brian Wilson warming up.
When the Giants extended GM Brian Sabean's contract in July, managing partner Peter Magowan mentioned the Padres as a team that could be a blueprint for future success.
There is one major difference: The Giants' payroll is north of $90 million, while the Padres come in closer to $58 million.
Towers always keeps tabs on the Giants' maneuvers in the offseason, but he is especially curious to see what Sabean does now that he won't have Bonds to build around.
"You always knew you had that guy in the middle of your lineup," Towers said. "I'm sure it's going to be different as they piece and put together their ballclub going forward."
How they scored
Padres first: B.Giles singled. On Lewis' error, B.Giles to second. On Zito's wild pitch, B.Giles to third. Hairston popped out. Kouzmanoff singled, B.Giles scored. Padres 1, Giants 0.
Padres second: With one out, Clark doubled. Young singled, Clark to third. B.Giles grounded into fielder's choice, Clark scored. Padres 2, Giants 0.
Giants second: With two outs, Lewis walked. Vizquel tripled, Lewis scored. Zito singled, Vizquel scored. Giants 2, Padres 2.
Giants third: Frandsen walked and stole second. Winn singled, Frandsen to third. Molina popped out. Klesko singled, Frandsen scored, Winn to third. Aurilia walked, Klesko to second. Lewis singled, Winn scored, Klesko to third, Aurilia to second. On Young's wild pitch, Klesko scored, Aurilia to third, Lewis to second. Vizquel singled, Aurilia and Lewis scored. Giants 7, Padres 2.
Padres fourth: Blum walked. Clark singled, Blum to second. Young sacrificed, , Blum to third, Clark to second. B.Giles grounded out, Blum scored. Giants 7, Padres 3.
Padres fifth: Gonzalez doubled. K.Greene flied out, Gonzalez to third. Bard singled, Gonzalez scored. Giants 7, Padres 4.
Giants seventh: Klesko singled. Aurilia doubled, Klesko scored. Lewis grounded out, Aurilia to third. Vizquel bunt single, Aurilia scored. Giants 9, Padres 4.