The San Francisco Giants have won their third World Series in five years thanks in no small part to switch-hitting third baseman Pablo Sandoval. The “Kung Fu Panda” is a fan favorite in San Francisco, he had five RBI’s and posted an impressive .429 batting average with seven doubles in the World Series. While not as impressive, he had 73 RBI’s during the regular season while hitting .279 and 16 Home Runs, all for $8.25 million.
Sandoval is a Free Agent this offseason and the market remains limited for 3B. The Giants do not have any foreseeable internal options to replace his production and teams around the league, most notably Boston, New York (AL) and Los Angeles (NL) are ready to throw money at the Panda like it were bamboo.
Sandoval has expressed his interest in remaining and retiring as a Giant. Earlier this season he rejected a 3yr/$40 million option presented by the Giants. The team is reluctant to give Sandoval the long term (5-7 year) option he is seeking because Sandoval’s weight has been a constant problem and team officials fear he may eat his way out of production. He is also already 28 years old.
The Giants have rewarded and retained their players in years past, Hunter Pence received a 5yr/$90 million contract and even the struggling Tim Lincecum received a 2yrs/$35 million contract. The team already has a host of other free agents including LF Michael Morse, starting pitcher’s Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsongand reliever Sergio Romo.
The Giants currently have $127 million committed to 12 players. The club wants to stay around the $149 million opening day payroll they had in 2014 and avoid the “luxury” tax MLB imposes when a club reaches $189 million.Sandoval is looking for a deal in the same realm that Hunter Pence received.
If you were Brian Sabean, General Manager of the Giants, what would you do? Post your comments below.