The San Francisco Giants will face a dilemma with Pablo Sandoval’s pending free agency. As noted in multiple social/media sites, Sandoval has lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 pounds. This is a great sign for the Giants as Sandoval was hovering around the 270 lb mark throughout the 2013 season. When in shape, Sandoval is one of the best 3rd baseman in the game. He can be dynamic not only offensively with his power and high batting average but he is also an above average defensive 3rd baseman.
When Sandoval is out of shape, he tends to be injury prone, his offense suffers and his range/consistency with routine plays is less than average at 3rd base. The question that Brian Sabean will need to address is: Should the Giants look to sign Sandoval before he reaches free agency or let him test the free agent market after the 2014 season is over? Also, can Sandoval keep his weight off if he signs a big contract or do the Giants think he will go back to his old ways and fall back out of shape and then regret signing him to a big contract. The 3rd base free agent market is weak and Sandoval, potentially, could be in high demand if he puts up big numbers this season. Sandoval is set to make $5,716,667 dollars in the last year of his contract. The average 2014 salary for the top 10 3rd baseman (Not including A-Rod) is close to 10 million dollars a year. Keeping Sandoval may mean that the Giants will have to fork over around 10-12 million dollars a year over at least 4 years. If the Giants let Pablo test the free agent market they run the risk of losing Pablo to big spending teams like the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and even the Los Angeles Dodgers who have the money to outbid the Giants. 10 million a year is a big risk for a player who has weight issues but the Giants may be forced to sign Sandoval for this amount as there may not be an alternative in the free agent market and the Giants are not looking to trade an elite prospect for a top 3rd baseman. Would you trust the “KungFu Panda” to keep his weight off if he signs a big contract? Should the Giants let him walk as the risk of Sandoval gaining weight and the large amount of money may not be something they are willing to gamble with? Post your comments below.
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