SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Buster Posey glanced toward Tim Lincecum's locker and pondered what the Giants' clubhouse might look like without The Freak or fellow starter Barry Zito, and only because the catcher got asked about it last week.
"Honestly, I guess I haven't really put much thought into that," Posey said.
He might not have to for long, either.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean plans to do all he can — and soon — to keep Lincecum around. The club already took care of its first order of business: Signing right fielder Hunter Pence to a $90 million, five-year contract. He played every game this season.
Two others with multiyear contracts struggled to stay on the field this season.
San Francisco lost center fielder Angel Pagan to a serious hamstring injury, while another key piece of last season's World Series run — second baseman Marco Scutaro — dealt with lingering back and finger problems that limited last year's NL championship series MVP for much of 2013.
After hitting an inside-the-park home run May 25, Pagan had surgery on his torn left hamstring and missed 82 games. It was considered a possible season-ending injury and a big blow after he re-signed for $40 million over four years, but Pagan returned late in the year and gave the Giants a lift once they were long out of contention.
Scutaro, who signed for $20 million and three years two days after Pagan last December, was determined to help carry the Giants back for another special October run.
"We missed that 1-2," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Those were the guys that really got us going last year and we kind of fed off those guys, our catalysts, guys who ignited this offense."
The Giants struggled at AT&T Park, where they ran their sellout streak to 246 but underachieved and finished 76-86 with most of the same faces that were part of the franchise's second World Series in three years last fall.
Injuries played a big part, as well as lack of production.
"Overall, we didn't have a good year as a team ... after a great year last year," Scutaro said. "It didn't work out. We had some injuries to key players. That's part of the game. You work hard all season to get your body in shape and you never know when you might get hurt. It's going to make us stronger for next year."
San Francisco also missed right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, who was sidelined more than 2 1/2 months after breaking bones in the pinkie area of his pitching hand on a swing in May. He had problems when he was healthy to pitch.
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