In the event that Pablo Sandoval does decide to sign with the Red Sox, the Giants will likely turn their attention to free-agent lefty Jon Lester, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Lester, who was offered a contract by Boston last week, would likely be even more expensive than Sandoval. Sandoval's three offers from Boston, San Francisco and San Diego are expected to be around 5-years, $90 million, while Lester is expected to be somewhere in between $100-130 million. If Sandoval is headed elsewhere, the Giants could be willing to pay more for Lester's services.
As the Giants wrapped up their third World Championship in five years, they will head into 2015 with plenty of question marks regarding the starting rotation. Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson return, but they lose Ryan Vogelsong and Jake Peavy to free agency. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain will be back, but their production has dropped significantly in recent years. From 2005-2012, Matt Cain produced a 3.27 ERA over 235 starts. Since then, Cain has posted a 4.06 ERA, along with an injury plagued 2014 season that limited him to just 15 starts.
Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young award winner, has produced similar results as Cain. From 2008-2011, Lincecum was the top pitcher in the NL, with a 2.81 ERA over 131 starts. Since then, Lincecum's production has dropped to just a 4.76 ERA and a combined WAR of 2.1 over the last three seasons.
Lester would be very expensive, but his impact on the Giants' questionable rotation would prove worth the cost.