Third base is a major area of need for the Red Sox as we enter the 2014-15 offseason and, with deep pockets after gutting the team at the trade deadline, Ben Cherington and company appear to be willing and able to spend big on a third baseman this winter. Free agent Pablo Sandoval is the marquee name available on the third base market and, with news that he and his agent plan to meet with the Red Sox next week, there appears to be mutual interest between the BoSox and Kung Fu Panda.
However, it’s worth wondering whether that mutual interest will outweigh some of the concerns associated with signing Sandoval.
First and foremost among those concerns is the heavy contract that Sandoval is likely to receive. Sandoval and his agent are reportedly seeking a six-year deal and as the biggest name in a thin third base market, it’s not crazy to think that his contract could ultimately reach that length as well as surpassing $100M.
That would be a hefty investment for Sandoval, who slashed just .279/.324/.415 with 16 home runs in 2014. After all, despite Sandoval’s clubhouse personality, which makes him a fan favorite in San Francisco, and his postseason prowess, the Red Sox front office should also have some misgivings about acquiring Sandoval. Due to his body type and lack of plate discipline, Sandoval does not appear to be the type of player that will age well, even considering that the Red Sox would be able to use him as designated hitter in a few years.
However, he’s still an intriguing name for the Red Sox, who absolutely should do their due diligence with him, and it will be interesting to see how their meeting goes.