The San Francisco Giants are trying to re-sign Pablo Sandoval but might have a hard time reaching their goal with the interest the third baseman is picking up, especially from the Boston Red Sox, who seem to be very aggressive and eager in their attempts to sign him.
The Red Sox see Sandoval as a natural fit for them for a number of reasons: He’s viewed as a more ‘American League’ type of player, he’s a big hitter, he can hit left handed (switch hitter) and will fill in a hole for them a third base, maybe their worst position in 2014. In the future, the 28-year old might be the one who takes over for David Ortiz as the Red Sox designated hitter, although there’s time before Ortiz is actually pushed out of the lineup.
According to Gustavo Vasquez, Sandoval’s agent, his player is looking for a six year deal that will pay him somewhere between $90 and $100 million over the duration. He’ll be 34 when the contract expires and the question on a lot of people’s minds is whether or not he’s already declining. He’s been excellent in the postseason for the Giants on three separate occasions, but his OPS and slugging have significantly and consistently dropped over the last four seasons: From .909 in 2011 to .739 in 2014, and from .552 slugging to .415 this season.
While his regular season numbers are good after playing 157 games last season (.279/.324/.415/.739). He played as a designated hitter on the Giants’ nine road games against American League teams, hitting .235 with one home run and four RBIs. His really impressive numbers come through 39 career postseason games: 344/.389/.545/.935 including six home runs and 20 RBIs. In three World Series appearances, he has batted a .426/.460/.702/1.162.
The Red Sox usually have a policy of not giving anyone long contract. They’re also not fans of letting players go on a long deal well into their 30’s. Obviously, desperate times after such a bad season and special players call for exceptions, and Sandoval seems to fit the bill for the Red Sox, who aren’t planning on having another season of hanging around the bottom of the AL East, which is going through something of a revolution in terms of dominant teams.
There are other teams looking at Sandoval, but right now his two best options are the Giants, sticking around with the team he’s been playing for since 2008, and the Red Sox, who can offer more money than anyone except for two or three other teams. Those teams, at the moment, aren’t in contention for his services.