Red Sox, Pablo Sandoval discussing five-year deal
According to ESPN reporter Jerry Crasnick, things are coming together quickly in the Pablo Sandoval sweepstakes and the Red Sox and Giants– Sandoval’s two main suitors– are discussing contracts in the range of five years and $80-90M.
Sandoval and his agent Gustavo Vazquez met with the Red Sox yesterday and Crasnick notes that the Red Sox are “serious players” for Sandoval, even considering San Francisco’s previous history of extending their stars even on potentially unwise contracts.
Third base is the only serious gap in Boston’s threatening 2015 lineup and a player of Sandoval’s caliber would be a significant boost. Though he slashed just .279/.324/.415 in 2014, hardly $90M numbers, he did that in one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball so it would be reasonable to expect him to improve playing half of his games in Fenway Park. However, Sandoval has traditionally been better than that throughout his career, featuring a .294/.346/.465 slash line in seven seasons with the Giants, and at 28 years old, he shouldn’t be slowing down yet.
Plus, with third base a position of decreasing depth around baseball and with Hanley Ramirez and Chase Headley the only viable alternatives on the free agent market, it makes sense for the Red Sox to pay the big bucks for Kung Fu Panda. Sandoval is the type of player that could be a disaster on a huge contract, considering his weight, which will likely cause him to age quickly, and his mysteriously declining power. However, if the Red Sox are able to keep his contract to five years, they should absolutely do everything within their power to bring him to Boston.