The San Francisco Giants picked up Matt Moore's option on the first day of the offseason Thursday. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Giants offseason begins by picking up pitcher’s option — plus key dates, who’s likely going/staying

The season concluded in thrilling fashion Wednesday night with the Chicago Cubs beating the Cleveland Indians, who blew a 3-1 lead in the World Series.

Thursday morning, the MLB offseason officially began — meaning San Francisco Giants fans can start actively investing in the happenings of the league again.

The club wasted little time exercising its option on Matt Moore’s contract. The lefty’s team-friendly deal is part of what made him an attractive option at the trade deadline. The Giants will keep him for $7 million this year, and have $9- and $10-million options for the following two seasons.

Other moves the team made: Outrighted catcher Tony Hernandez to Triple-A to make space on the 40-player roster; signed former All-Star pitcher Josh Johnson to a minor league deal; added outfielder Kyle Blanks, who previously played for the Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres.

Eligible players became free agents at 6 a.m. this morning, meaning the following players can work with the Giants about returning or wait to explore their value in the open market:

  • Jake Peavy
  • Angel Pagan
  • Sergio Romo
  • Santiago Casilla
  • Javier Lopez
  • Gregor Blanco

It’s a long shot that more than one of these players returns to the organization. Blanco has already signaled that he will not.

San Francisco has a handful of players who are eligible for arbitration, meaning the team will have to tender each of them a contract by Dec. 2. if it wants to keep him around:

  • George Kontos
  • Eduardo Nunez
  • Cory Gearrin
  • Will Smith
  • Conor Gillaspie

Many of these guys will be back, because they’ll be affordable even after arbitration.

Then there are those under team control for the upcoming season:

  • Joe Panik
  • Hunter Strickland
  • Mac Williamson
  • Ehire Adrianza
  • Josh Osich
  • Trevor Brown
  • Derek Law
  • Kelby Tomlinson
  • Albert Suarez
  • Jarrett Parker
  • Steven Okert
  • Gorkys Hernandez
  • Ty Blach

The offseason is just getting started and it should be getting more exciting by the day. General Manager Meetings begin Nov. 7 in Scottsdale, Ariz. In years past, the winter meetings have proven a conduit for player movement.

Other offseason dates to watch for:

  • Nov. 7: Free agents can talk to new teams starting at 9:01 p.m.
  • Nov. 8: Buster Posey, Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford find out if they won a Gold Glove.
  • Dec. 1: The current collective bargaining agreement expires. Owners and players know they can’t afford a work stoppage after such a successful World Series, but issues remain in passing a new deal.
  • Dec. 5-8: Winter meetings, which are like the General Manager Meetings next week but on steroids.
  • Jan. 18, 2017: New Hall of Fame class announced.
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