Sabean’s contract extension

Mentioned earlier that the Giant have extended general manager Brian Sabean’s contract through 2009 with an option for 2010. Just finished listening to the conference call, one that was dominated heavily by managing general partner Peter Magowan, and to read between the lines, it sounds like Magowan is going to give Sabean the freedom to rebuild in a sensible way.

Magowan told reporters that he “wants to win and develop” at the same time, and while that may sound painfully familiar, he also added the team will steer clear of the classic rent-a-player addition at the deadline; that the young pitching (read: Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Noah Lowry) are untouchable; and that if the team needs to suffer through a couple of more difficult seasons for “a better chance to win and sustain winning,” he’d be fine with it.

In other words, it sounds like Magowan realizes it’s time for a makeover. This is good. The Giants have needed a facelift for a while, and no question his influence, as well as that of Giants president Larry Baer, has prevented one from happening sooner.

Now, the ball is in Sabean’s court. The last time he was in this situation, he pulled off the wonderful Matt Williams-for-Jeff Kent (and assorted others) deal that got the Giants on the longest run of success they’ve sustained since moving to San Francisco. Now, Sabean’s track record the last few seasons hasn’t been good, but who knows how much he’d been hamstrung from what he really wanted to do.

Keep an eye on what Sabes does at the trade deadline. It should tell us a lot.

Giants fans, you happy with this?