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SF Giants’ offensive solutions are likely in house

Dallas — The more general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy addressed roster projections Monday, the more it appeared the Giants’ makeup in 2012 will be a lot like 2011 – but with Aubrey Huff in left field.”Yes, I am,” Bochy said when asked if he’s comfortable with the offense as is. “Not that we’re not talking” about other players.Sabean had a different take.Reiterating that there’s little available space in the $130 million payroll to improve an offense that scored the league’s fewest runs, Sabean is trying to creatively find another outfielder and perhaps a shortstop to complement Brandon Crawford.”We only have so much money to spread, and you have to play with 25 guys,” Sabean said. “Until we get a team on the field and start the season and score more runs, to answer your question, you’re not comfortable with the offense we had, given our low water mark last year.”More and more, re-signing outfielder Carlos Beltran, even Cody Ross, is becoming unlikely. Sabean spoke of the “window probably closing” on Ross. Same for Beltran, considering built-in raises and spiked salaries for arbitration-eligible players, especially Tim Lincecum and Pablo Sandoval.”The window could be closing on a lot of opportunities based on what we think our flexibility is,” Sabean said. “Without getting into specific dollars, we only have so much to spread.”As a result, the in-house possibilities are becoming more realistic, including Huff and Crawford getting significant time in left and short, respectively, and a first-base merry-go-round featuring Brandon Belt, perhaps Brett Pill, and Buster Posey on days he doesn’t catch to keep his bat in the lineup.Bochy said he communicated with Huff about playing left and would treat him like Pat Burrell, removing him late in games for defensive purposes and giving him frequent breaks. “He’s determined to get back to being the player we had a couple years ago.”With Huff in left, Melky Cabrera would play center. Bochy called Nate Schierholtz “the front-runner” in right. “It’s his job to lose. He’s got to come in and do what we believe he can do, and that’s to stay healthy and play well.”Briefly: Assistant GM Bobby Evans spoke with the Lincecum camp to hammer home the Giants’ preference of a multiyear contract. … Sabean shot down a report the Giants submitted a bid on Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. … Jerry Hairston Jr., who signed for two years with the Dodgers, was the latest middle infielder linked to the Giants who went elsewhere. Clint Barmes and Willie Bloomquist were others. … Freddy Sanchez began throwing Monday for the first time since August shoulder surgery. … Trainer Dave Groeschner will leave Dallas for Georgia to monitor Posey’s rehab. … Mike Krukow was thrilled to hear old friend Ron Santo was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. “Congratulations, Ron Santo,” Krukow said. “We’ll toast him tonight.” In the same breath, Krukow said, “I’m very disappointed it didn’t happen in his lifetime so he could enjoy it.” Santo died last year at 70.A’s: Many teams covet Oakland’s starting pitchers, but stadium is focus. B3 This article appeared on page B – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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