NEW YORK -- Javier Lopez wants to remain with the Giants, and he knows that the Giants want him in their bullpen, but as a potential free agent, he realizes that signing him ranks no higher than third on the club's offseason to-do list, behind addressing the Hunter Pence and Tim Lincecum situations.
Lopez is concluding what might be his best overall season since he joined the Giants at the Trade Deadline in 2010. The left-handed specialist entered Friday with a streak of 17 scoreless appearances. His statistics in several categories this year are his best, including strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.92), strikeouts and walks per nine innings ratios (8.1 and 2.8, respectively), average walks and hits per inning (1.060), ERA (1.63) and opposing left-handers' batting average (.157).
Though manager Bruce Bochy isn't certain that this has been Lopez's finest season, "It's got to be right up there," he said. "He has been so consistent for us."
Lopez was encouraged when the Giants didn't ship him to another club before this year's Trade Deadline, but if he goes on the open market, he's open to irresistible offers from other clubs.
"We'll have to see how it plays out," said Lopez, who's coming off a two-year, $8.5 million deal. "The front office and coaching staff are on the same page as far as my wanting to stay here. San Francisco is a beautiful place to play, and I love playing there. I won two titles there. That always makes it easy to put them as a big favorite, obviously. But there are a lot of spots that need to be filled before they get to me."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.