n ADD SOME THUMP: The Giants' 94 home runs were the fewest since the 1993 expansion Florida Marlins. They'll seek to trade for a right-handed hitter with pull power — something they've lacked with consistency since Jeff Kent high-tailed it after the 2002 season.

  • FIND RELIEF: They'll spend free-agent dollars on proven setup men to improve a bullpen that "was not up to par talent-wise and performance wise," Sabean said. Their own arbitration-eligible arms (Tyler Walker, Kevin Correia, Jack Taschner, Brad Hennessey) are candidates to be cut loose.

  • RESIST TRADING CAIN: It's hard to consummate a trade when every club is focused on prying away Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. The Giants have to generate interest in their other players to swing a deal.

  • UNEARTH PITCHING DEPTH: There's always a veteran reclamation project or two worth exploring. Could Mark Mulder rejoin Barry Zito on the other side of the Bay?

  • STRIKE A BALANCE: With Fred Lewis, Nate Schierholtz and Dave Roberts, the Giants are awfully left-handed in the outfield. Lewis and Schierholtz are out of minor league options, and because Lewis is recovering from foot surgery, Schierholtz is the more likely trade chip.

  • MEET THE NEW BOSS: Brian Sabean said he's curious about how the group dynamics might change under Bill Neukom: "That's one of the reasons we've had the continuity we've had. You've got to spend time. You've got to be around your people. When you're having a cup of coffee and something comes into your mind, you can walk down to somebody's office. So I'm looking forward to seeing how all that gets settled."


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    — Andrew Baggarly, MediaNews staff