I've read quotes from both Sabes and Magowan that this has been under discussion for a while. And as we've talked before, it's not just Barry's contract that will be expiring, so Sabes will be filling other positions besides LF. So in theory, there is a plan in the works. The question becomes if it happens after this season (I believe it will) what free agents will be available, and what can we hope to fill in from Fresno.
For example, will Frandsen be ready to fill Ray-Ray's shoes? Will Fred Lewis be ready to get one of the open OF spots? Both Finley and Mo are probably in their last years, so there will be at least two OF spots open, Lewis might grab one, but which F/A might get the other? And what about Catcher and 1B? Matheny can't last forever, and Neikro will probably not blossom into a big time 1B. And a decision will need to be made about SS at some point, although the way Omar is playing, that may not be for a while! And our relief pitching is in desparate need of an upgrade too. But the team is set with Feliz, Winn and Vizquel at least for a couple of years, And Schmidt and Lowry look to be good for a few more years as SP's.
To sum up, most of the Bonds money will go to a big time OF, whomever is the best of the F/A crop. Also money will be spent at 1B and in the Pen. I suspect they wont go for a big time starter, with the hope that Cain will turn it around and Hennessey will do the job.
This reminds me a bit like the Chicago Bulls situation after Michael left. Jerry Krause had been chomping at the bit to build a team his way in a post-Jordan era, and he botched the whole thing. Here's hoping Sabes does a better job that Krause did.
“Well, I like to say I’m completely focused, right? I mean, the game’s on the line. It’s not like I’m thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer — it tastes friggin’ awesome!"--Brian Wilson