The San Francisco Giants have won three world championships in the past five seasons, and the cornerstone of their success has been strong pitching.

Whether it is the starting rotation or the bullpen, general manager Brian Sabean has consistently built a solid pitching staff. Manager Bruce Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti know how to get the most out of their pitchers.

Looking ahead to the 2015 season, once again, pitching will be essential to the Giants’ success. 

James Shields and Max Scherzer are the last two remaining front-of-the-rotation starters on the free-agent market. 

A couple of weeks ago, The Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo (h/t Bryan Rose of reported about the Giants’ interest in Shields. However, after the signing of Jake Peavy, it’s a long shot that the Giants will sign Shields. In addition, they would lose their top pick, 19th overall, in the upcoming amateur draft.

When it comes to the Giants, the case of Scherzer is much clearer. Sabean has been clear that the Giants have no interest, as reported by Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News (h/t Rose).

According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports (h/t Bryan Kilpatrick of SB Nation), Scherzer is seeking a huge deal that would be on par with the megadeal the Dodgers gave to Clayton Kershaw. This past January, Kershaw signed a seven-year, $215 million deal.

Scherzer’s agent is Scott Boras, who is notorious for trying to squeeze the last dollar out of teams. Based on comments he made to then-Mercury News reporter Andrew Baggarly and repeated during a televised interview in December 2009, Sabean seems to dislike working with Boras and coupled with the huge price tag, it’s easy to understand why the Giants will not enter into the fray.

The Giants have also been rumored to be interested in acquiring Cole Hamels via trade from the Phillies, as Jayson Stark of reported on Twitter.

In order to acquire Hamels, the Giants would have to give up several of their top prospects and young players. Players like Kyle Crick, Joe Panik and Andrew Susac might all have to be included in a deal of this magnitude, and even that may not be enough.

With Sabean also looking for help in the outfield, the odds are long on the Giants making a trade for Hamels. 

Look for the Giants to head into the 2015 season with the pitchers on the roster. If they need to make some additions to their pitching staff, Sabean will likely try to do something by the July trade deadline.

Let’s take a closer look at how the pitching staff is likely to look when the Giants open the season.

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