The Giants were eliminated from the playoffs in a thriller on Tuesday night, so the even-year dynasty has at least temporarily come to a halt.

The main culprit isn't too difficult to pin down. One offseason after shoring up their rotation, it's the bullpen that needs focus this time.

The issue was on display in the two games at AT&T Park. Sure, the Giants won Game 3, but Sergio Romo still blew a save and left the door open for a Cubs' sweep. Counting the regular season, it was the 31st blown save. The next night, Will Smith giving up a game-tying single to Willson Contreras marked the 32nd.

The bullpen left Buster Posey with this look far too often in 2016. USATSI

The Giants became the first playoff team in MLB history to blow at least 30 saves in a season. The previous high for a playoff team was 29 by the 2007 Colorado Rockies, but that was no ordinary playoff team. The overwhelming majority of playoff teams don't even come close to this mark.

An interesting contrast here is that last offseason, as noted, the Giants spent big on starting pitching. Johnny Cueto got six years and $130 million and has a shot to finish in the top five of NL Cy Young voting. Jeff Samardzija got five years and $90 million and overall had a good season. During the season they also traded for Matt Moore, who has shown signs of being very good at times for years. Including his brilliant Game 4 outing against the Cubs, Moore gave up only three earned runs in 23 2/3 innings (.1.14 ERA) with 27 strikeouts in his last three starts. It's something to build on and it's hard to see the Giants not picking up his $7 million team option.

So that means the Giants' rotation is actually in very good shape heading into 2017 behind ace Madison Bumgarner.

As for the bullpen, here is what looks to be the group of holdovers:

RHP: Hunter Strickland, Derek Law, George Kontos ... Chris Heston? Cory Gearrin?
LHP: Will Smith, Josh Osich (I think Ty Blach gets a look in the rotation, FYI)

Yes, long-timers Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez are free agents. Not exactly a stellar-looking group, even if there are good depth pieces to begin with.

Now, the good news for the Giants is that there's a healthy crop of relievers in free agency.

The big-name closers: Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon and maybe Wade Davis (if the Royals don't pick up his $10 million option).

Might the Giants pursue Mark Melancon this offseason? USATSI

It'll be interesting to see if the Giants wish to spend like that, though. Top-notch relievers in recent years have been getting deals in the four-year range worth something like $10-12 million per year. The Giants won't really be losing much payroll from 2016 as things stand, either, factoring in arbitration raises (baseball-reference estimates the Giants' current payroll would be $176.7 million compared to $179.3 million in 2016).

Maybe they will stretch. Maybe not. It's too early to tell.

There's probably a longer discussion for a different day here, but I wonder if the relief market goes a bit nuts this offseason? The starting pitching market looks historically awful and we've seen so many successful teams in playoff years lean heavily on their bullpens. As such, it might become in vogue to spend lavishly on relievers. If that happens, I'm not sure the Giants would be willing to keep up on the top names.

If the Giants wanted to try and go the cheap route, especially given that more than one spot needs to be filled, there are lots of other options, such as former closers Fernando Rodney, Joaquin Benoit, Jonathan Papelbon, Brad Ziegler and Koji Uehara. There's a reclamation project in Greg Holland.

Some other names that could be had for cheaper to round out the depth: Joe Smith, Joe Blanton, Tommy Hunter, Kevin Jepsen, Drew Storen or lefties like Marc Rzepczynski and Travis Wood.

Romo and Lopez are probably options to come back, too.

There's always the trade market as well and it's so far unclear what kinds of names on the cheap could be found by general manager Bobby Evans. The one thing we know about relievers is that sometimes they come from weird places (failed starters, guys who haven't been good the past few years, non-prospects who suddenly thrive, change-of-scenery guys, etc.).

One thing that is clear is that the Giants can only go as far as their bullpen will let them. That much was on display in the NLDS loss to the Cubs.