Giants general manager Brian Sabean returned from an Italian holiday this week with more on his mind than resolving arbitration cases and signing minor league free agents.

Sabean, who could face disciplinary action because his name was mentioned prominently in the Mitchell Report and the subsequent congressional hearings on its findings, said he looks forward to meeting with Major League Baseball officials and hopes that any issues will be resolved before the Giants open camp Feb. 13.

"I am hopeful of that, but we have to pay respect to their needs, their timetable and their need to be thorough," Sabean said. "It's at their behest."

Sabean said he assumes that commissioner Bud Selig would seek a meeting, most likely face-to-face, to ask about anecdotes contained in the sport's investigation into past steroid use.

According to the report, former Giants trainer Stan Conte told Sabean as early as 2002 that Barry Bonds' personal strength coach, Greg Anderson, might be peddling steroids in the Giants clubhouse. The report stated that Sabean looked into Anderson's background but took no other action to bar his clubhouse access.

During the congressional hearings earlier this month, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) pressed Selig about punishing Sabean and Giants owner Peter Magowan for failing to report Conte's suspicions to league officials. Selig indicated he was in agreement and pledged to investigate the matter further.

Sabean declined to comment on whether he expects to be disciplined or to defend the way he was depicted in the Mitchell Report, saying he wishes to respect the process with Selig's office.


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"The commissioner is going to offer us every opportunity to state our case," Sabean said. "There is no advantage for the organization to go through this (by commenting) in the press."

Notes: Former Giants catcher Mike Matheny will be in a major league uniform again this spring -- as a special instructor for the St. Louis Cardinals. Matheny, who retired because of post-concussion syndrome, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he no longer has headaches when he works out and he is eager to get back on the field. The Giants, who will pay Matheny $2 million this year to buy out his contract option, had offered the Gold Glove catcher a position in their organization. "They knew where my heart was," said Matheny, who lives in suburban St. Louis. "This is where my baseball home is, as well as my physical home." ... Former Giants right-hander Scott Munter signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Contact Andrew Baggarly at abaggarly@mercurynews.com.