Giants

Giants in wait-and-see mode

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Giants in wait-and-see mode

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Jaymee Sire and senior coordinating producer Dave Bernstein are in Texas to cover the MLB Winter Meetings. Look for updates throughout the day on the Web and comprehensive coverage on SportsNet Central this week.

DALLAS -- Hurry up and wait.

Its a popular phrase used by the media to cover sports. The concept is pretty simple. Hurry up to get to a place to cover an event. Wait to get anything done due to circumstances.

It can also be used to describe coverage of baseballs annual Winter Meetings. This year they are being held in Dallas, metroplex home of the two-time defending American League champion Rangers. For the Giants, there could be a whole lot of waiting.

There are many in Bay Area who are hoping for a splash. Everyone knows the names -- Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Jimmy Rollins -- that will get the most buzz this week. Giants fans should forget about those names. Think more of the Alex Gonzalez and Rafael Furcal ilk.

General manager Brian Sabean has been here before. He knows the circus of the Meetings better than most. Hot Stove geeks -- myself included -- wait for this nearly as much as the start of spring training. Its always interesting to see how team-building takes its course.

There will plenty of free agent signings in Texas this week. There will probably be some significant trades as well. But San Franciscos priority starts from within. Figuring out how to lock down Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain must be the first order of business. Pitching is the fabric of Giants baseball at AT&T Park, so the front office knows it must keep its top two horses in the stable.

You could see the Giants deal from the bullpen -- a strength for them, a weakness for plenty of other teams. Likely, any of those arms would not net a major offensive return.

There is some intrigue on deck offensively though. Will Carlos Beltran be back? Possible. But dont expect any major contributors to be wearing Orange and Black after the Giants' contingent comes back from Dallas. They are counting on the continued growth of Pablo Sandoval, the injury rebound of Buster Posey and maturation of Brandon Belt. They're all young and inexpensive right now, and the Giants need major output from those bats.

With the bloated contracts of Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand still on the books, Larry Baers ownership group has its collective hands tied in many ways. While agents Scott Boras and Dan Lozano are floating their clients out to many teams, Sabean may listen.

There are plenty of Giants fans who are excited about a potential big deal this week, and cant stay off of csnbayarea.com, Twitter and Rotoworld to get all the latest news. I have two thoughts for you. Hurry up. And wait.

Giants lineup: Pence leading off, lefties back in against D'backs

Giants lineup: Pence leading off, lefties back in against D'backs

After batting fourth on Sunday in Los Angeles, Hunter Pence is back in the leadoff spot in the series opener against Arizona.

Additionally, Denard Span, Joe Panik and Jarrett Parker return after sitting against Clayton Kershaw.

San Francisco Giants:
1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Denard Span (L) CF
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
7. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
8. Nick Hundley (R) C
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P

Arizona Diamondbacks:
1. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
2. Kristopher Negron (R) SS
3. Brandon Drury (R) 2B
4. Christian Walker (R) 1B
5. Rey Fuentes (L) CF
6. Adam Rosales (R) 3B
7. Jeremy Hazelbaker (L) RF
8. John Ryan Murphy (R) C
9. Zack Godley (R) P

Three teams chasing Giants in tight race for first overall pick

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USATI

Three teams chasing Giants in tight race for first overall pick

LOS ANGELES — The Giants have a pretty strong track record when picking in the top five of the MLB Draft. In 1985, they took Will Clark with the second overall selection, and Clark remains the highest-drafted player in franchise history. A year later, Matt Williams was taken third overall. Jason Grilli at No. 4 in 1997 is rather forgettable, but taking Buster Posey with the fifth pick in 2008 led to three titles. 

With a week of baseball remaining, the Giants are a lock to pick in the top four of next year’s draft. A few days ago, they looked like a pretty strong bet to pick first overall, but the standings — the bottom of them, at least — have tightened in recent days. Here’s a look at the contenders, so to speak … 

White Sox (63-92): No team went into tank mode this year quite like Chicago, with trades of just about every big piece on the roster. But a funny thing has happened … they’ve actually played decent baseball down the stretch. The White Sox are 11-12 in September after a blowout of the Royals on Sunday. They finish up with four against the Angels and three against the Indians, so they should get pretty close to 100 losses. 

Phillies (62-94): They have looked all along like the team to beat, but they hurt their top-pick chances by taking three of four from the Dodgers last week. They host the Nationals and Mets this week. 

Tigers (62-94): All of a sudden, they’re the biggest road block for the Giants. The Tigers have lost seven straight and they’re 4-20 in September. They finish up with three against the Royals and three against the Twins, and all six games are on the road. 

Giants (61-95): Can we stop for a moment and appreciate this. We’ve been talking about it for five months, but still, it’s pretty amazing that a $200 million team is headed into the final week with a very good shot at having the worst record in Major League Baseball. What an awful season this has been. Having said that, the Giants have not shown any signs of actually tanking, and manager Bruce Bochy said this weekend that he won’t shut any players down. So, it’s on to Phoenix, where the Giants have lost six of seven this season but the Diamondbacks might chill out a bit after clinching a postseason spot. They’ll face Zack Godley, Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke. The season ends with three at home against the Padres. The Giants have struggled against the Padres for the last year and a half, but they’ll have Matt Cain going in an emotional start and Madison Bumgarner will also get a game.