SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Giants are putting their own twist on the old saying, “Getting the band back together.” This spring, they're getting multiple bands back together.
Not only did general manager Brian Sabean quickly re-sign three of his key free agents — Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro and Jeremy Affeldt — in the offseason, but he also brought back two members of the 2010 championship squad, Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez, both of whom were once traded for Pagan.
In a National League where the Dodgers hand out blank checks, the Cardinals boast a star-studded crop of prospects, the Braves are uniting the Uptons and the Diamondbacks, Reds and Nationals all added key pieces, it's easy to ask: Why stand pat?
In the Giants clubhouse, they're asking a different question: Why mess with success?
“It was a pretty special group last season, and you can't replace that,” right-hander Ryan Vogelsong said. “I think (management) realized how special it is to have a group come together like we did. That's something that doesn't happen all the time when you have 25 different guys.”
Twenty-one of the guys who celebrated on the field in Detroit last October return, including all five starting pitchers, the entire lineup and six key relievers.
Only Guillermo Mota, Aubrey Huff, Ryan Theriot and Xavier Nady are missing from the World Series roster, and Brian Wilson remains a free agent as he recovers from his second Tommy John surgery.
Sabean set the familiar course before the confetti had even been thoroughly cleaned off of Market Street, quickly giving Affeldt a three-year deal, Pagan four years and Scutaro three.
On Friday, the general manager called the roster “a good group,” one that will be “a little bit more comfortable to start the season.”
That season, and the quest for a repeat, begins today when pitchers and catchers report to Scottsdale Stadium. The Giants will hold their first full-squad workout on Saturday, when they surely will discuss the fact that no National League team has repeated since the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds.