Atlanta had a similar trio forming and then dominating in the 1990's. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz became the cornerstone of a 14 year playoff run in Atlanta.
Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner will be that for San Francisco. There are huge doubts about reaching 14 years, however it won't be due to a lack of pitching. At this point, those three help lead San Francisco to the same amount of championships already as Atlanta, and there is no reason to think the need for a bat outweighs the formula that won them the title in the first place.
Dave Cameron of Fan Graphs is wrong.
"...they’d clear between $25 and $30 million off the books in 2012 salary – enough to re-sign Carlos Beltran, add a real center fielder, and have enough left over to bring in a pitcher to replace Lincecum in the rotation."Are you kidding? What pitcher is going to replace Lincecum. IF the Giants did trade Lincecum, they wouldn't replace him anyway. They would just use the 5 man rotation they would still have with Zito and Sanchez both staying in the rotation. Dan Runzler, Eric Surkamp and others would be kept as well in case of injury or ineffectiveness.