The San Francisco Giants have some huge decisions to make this offseason regarding several key players. One player in particular that will be an area of focus for general manager Brian Sabean is reliever Javier Lopez. It is not a matter of should the Giants re-sign the free agent so much as it is a matter of if they will be able to afford him.
Lopez received $4.25 million for his services in 2013, but there is no question he will get a pay raise for his tremendous performance during the regular season. The left-handed pitcher posted a 4-2 record with a career-high 1.83 earned run average, 37 strikeouts, one save, 15 holds and 1.0 wins above replacement in 69 appearances.
San Francisco believes they are a very good baseball team, despite missing the playoffs this year. There certainly is truth to that statement. However, if they want to remain a talented team, they will have to figure out a way to bring back certain players, such as Lopez. It all starts with him as far as the relievers are concerned. He is the centerpiece that must be retained followed by the organization adding additional pieces to tweak the rest of the bullpen.
Several teams will show interest in acquiring Lopez, especially after he had a career year. The good news for the Giants is that he wants to return to San Francisco. At this point, it will all come down to how much money the two sides agree upon. If the Giants cannot get anywhere close to what Lopez expects to get, there could be some trouble.