On Wednesday, as the San Francisco Giants won their last game of the year over the playoff-bound San Diego Padres, a dubious record was set: 2022 marked the first time in the 140 year history of the New York/San Francisco Giants franchise that the team finished a season at an even .500.

Try to hold your applause, everyone.

This milestone in mediocrity perfectly exemplifies the overall blah-ness of the Giants' year. Sure, back in early May, San Francisco was actually briefly leading the NL West, and seemed as if they might once again defy expectations and make a run at the postseason. But that inertia quickly faded. Was 2022 a fluke, or indicative of the Giants' culture of building superstar-less teams full of relative nobodies, hoping to turn them into a competitive or even championship franchise? Will the Giants stick with this formula, or will fundamental changes be made?

As the leaves begin to fall and the days grow short, Giants' fans can only shrug their shoulders, look to next year, and entertain rumors.

Yesterday, David Villar (right) hit a solo home in the eighth inning in the Giants' 8-1 season ending game against the San Diego Padres. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

According to Yahoo Sports, ESPN analyst Buster Olney believes that in the offseason, the Giants will make an offer on New York Yankees' superstar-, record-setting slugger Aaron Judge, who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. "I do think that some team will jump in with a bigger number than the Yankees are going to offer. I think that number is going to come from the San Francisco Giants," Olney said on ESPN's Get Up. Yahoo noted that Judge — who is from Linden, just outside of Stockton and is a former Fresno State Bulldog — grew up a Giants' fan, idolized shortstop Rich Aurilia, wore number 35 as a young player to pay homage, and copied Aurilia's right-handed batting stance.

So with Judge's past love for the Giants, the trade is basically a done deal, right?

The Yankees have reportedly offered Judge a $213 million contract extension, but Major League insiders have said that he's valued anywhere from seven years at $259 million to a 10-year deal worth $375 million.

Aaron Judge, seen here watching his record-breaking 62nd home run of the season fly out of the park on Tuesday, grew up a Giants' fan. Will that, and a big chunk of money, lure him into an orange-and-black uniform next season? (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)

The Aaron Judge chatter seems to dovetail from mid-season rumors about the Giants' desire and/or ability to acquire a high-priced free agent. (Let's not forget that there was some speculation, however wild and inaccurate, that the Giants were considering making a run at then-Washington National Juan Soto, who eventually went to the Padres.) "Many around the game thought that San Francisco — with an abundance of salary cap space this past winter — would spend big in the offseason," wrote NBC sports in May, already hinting that Judge was on the Giants' radar. Looking at the 2023 offseason, "the Giants once again will have money to spend," NBC continued. "Currently, San Francisco's payroll for next season is estimated to be $104 million."

The Giants might look like a scrappy, low-budget team fighting it out with their deep-pocketed rivals (we're talking to you, LA Dodgers), but San Francisco's payroll ranks 13th in the league, sitting just above the league-average Texas Rangers, who rank 15th overall.

So how will the Giants spend their money?  

What does the future hold for Brandon Crawford? Time will tell. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Here are a few high- (and low-) lights to cap off the Giants' season:

The Giants' nominated Brandon Crawford for the MLB's Roberto Clemente Award, "which is given annually to the player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field," according to MLB.com.

"Statistically, it’s probably the second-worst [season] of Crawford’s career," wrote SB Nation.  "He’s missed a month across two separate stints on the IL because of a bad knee." Crawford will be 36 years old in 2023, and "some of the more compelling free agent options in the offseason happen to play Crawford’s position."

Longtime SF Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper was selected as one of the 10 finalists for the 2023 Ford C. Frick Award, an annual accolade given for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Lacking many highlights for the season, the Giants' made some news with their facial hair, with pitcher John Brebbia taking some kind of prize. "When it comes to facial hair, nobody can match Brebbia, who has the Giants' bushiest beard since the days of Brian Wilson," wrote NBC Sports. It would be an entertaining look on its own, but it's made particularly hilarious by the fact that Brebbia comes into every season clean shaven, so his scoreboard picture every appearance — and there have been a ton of them — doesn't seem to match the pitcher on the mound."

Top Image: Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images