The World Series is over, thus marking the end of 2013. Hope springs eternal for 2014. The Giants have a piece of unfinished business, and that's signing Javier Lopez. The guy has been lights-out in his role of Super-LOOGY, and despite being 37 years old shows no sign of slowing down. His walks per nine (2.7), strikeouts per nine (8.5), and his hits per nine (6.9) were all career bests. He's faced 605 batters in his San Francisco tenure, striking out 121, walking 54, hitting three and giving up two, yes two home runs. In 147-1/3 innings, he's allowed 120 hits and 42 runs. According to Baseball-Reference, he's been worth 3.5 WAR since his 2010 debut in orange-and-black. We all know this guy's a stud, and even though he's a specialist, he's a very, very good one, one of the best in the game. Let's keep him in the fold.
The Boston Red Sox, possessor's of the game's mightiest offense, won the World Series scoring a mere 27 runs with a paltry .621 OPS. But their pitchers allowed only 14 runs to the NL's best offense, giving up just 10 extra-base hits and striking out 45 in 53-2/3 innings. Two superb starts apiece by cagey veterans John Lester and Jon Lackey and excellent bullpen work from Brandon Workman, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, and regular-season starter Felix Doubront neutralized Cardinals bats. St. Louis featured a spectacular quartet of flame-throwing youngsters, starter Michael Wacha and relievers Kevin Siegrist, Carlos Martinez, and Trevor Rosenthal, as well as a legit ace (Adam Wainwright), but it wasn't enough. In a short series, anything can happen, and Boston had everything go their way in Busch Stadium after losing Game Three on the now-famous obstruction call. I thought, after blowing Game Two in Boston, the Sox would likely come home down 3-2, but the dramatic wins in Games Four and Five sealed the Cards fate. It was a weird series with some sloppy play and odd, hard-to-defend managerial moves, but in the end none of that matters because flags fly forever.
Boston went from last to first, and that's the lesson. Things change quickly in the modern game. Whether it's the meteoric rise of rookies, the impact of free agents, or the comebacks from injured players, last season means less and less in the big scheme. What the Giants (and everyone else) do now is what matters most. The team obviously has some holes to fill and moves to make, and I think we will see some action this winter. What do you guys think the team should do? Let's get the discussion started!