San Francisco Giants: How They Can Contend in 2016

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Oct 1, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Fans and teammates clap for San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Hudson (17) as he leaves the game in his final MLB career appearance during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants missed out on a playoff berth in 2015 — here’s how they can return to contention in 2016.

The San Francisco Giants came up short of another playoff berth after injuries and inconsistencies derailed their season, finishing 84-78. Now, the team is in Nashville for the Winter Meetings looking to improve with a frenzy of activity that’s already under way.

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Last Friday, Zack Greinke stunned baseball with his decision to not re-sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers or head up north to the Bay Area to join the Giants. With six years and $206 million on the table, Greinke chose to take his talents to the desert and signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Not leaving the National League West, Greinke chose to be the main guy and not the shadow to Clayton Kershaw or Madison Bumgarner. Also, making a lot of serious cash is always a good motivator.

In response to the signing of the offseason so far, the Giants scrambled to get Jeff Samardzija while the Dodgers have signed Hisashi Iwakuma.

What looked to be a two-team race again on paper between the Dodgers and Giants, the Diamondbacks and their young nucleus — and the addition of Greinke — have added a third challenger to the NL West.

The Dodgers have reportedly traded for Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman as well, according to Ken Rosenthal. But the deal is not finalized yet because of an investigation into an alleged domestic violence incident.

While the Giants don’t need to be overly aggressive to patch up what they need to make another playoff push, they should be aware of how their competitors are stacking up and pursue their targets quickly. So, how do the Giants go about this?

Here is trade speculation and free agent signings that could get them over the hump — with a bill of a good health.

Next: Dexter Fowler