Discussion: Pablo Sandoval

We haven't heard anything about the Giants considering a contract offer for third baseman Pablo Sandoval, but Tim mentioned him as possible extension candidate.

Sandoval, 23, burst onto the scene with a late season cameo in 2008, then finished seventh in the 2009 NL MVP voting when he hit .330/.387/.556 with 25 homers in his first full season. He won't be eligible for arbitration until after the 2011 season, but that doesn't mean San Francisco can't secure some cost certainty now. 

The best comparable for a contract extension might be David Wright, who inked a six year, $55MM deal in the middle of his second full season. The Mets' third baseman hit .306/.388/.523 with 27 homers in his first full season, and was hitting .308/.382/.545 on the August 2006 day he signed his deal. Sandoval started the 2010 season at nearly the same exact age that Wright started the 2006 season, but the biggest difference between the two is that Wright was a far safer bet to remain at third base long-term.

With a 5-foot-11, 245 lb. frame (that's what the team's official site says), Sandoval has a -2.3 career UZR at the hot corner, and is expected to slide over to first as he gets older and potentially gets even bigger. That's something the Giants will have to consider if they approach their best hitter with a contract, that it's easier to find a first baseman that hits like he does than a third baseman.

Wright's deal bought out his last remaining pre-arbitration year (for $1MM), his three arbitration years (for $22.5MM total), and two free agent years (for $29MM total). There's also a $16MM club option ($1MM buyout) for the 2013 season, which would have been Wright's third free agent year. That framework seems reasonable for Sandoval, though the Giants might not want to assume so much risk with a bad bodied player. Buying out his last four years of team control for $23MM or so with (ideally) a club option or two for some free agent years would make sense.

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17 Comments on "Discussion: Pablo Sandoval"

5 years 4 months ago

Do the Giants have the money to give him that kind of extension? Would it cost them signing Lincecum long-term?

5 years 4 months ago

Giants have a 90 million payroll with talks of raising it for the right bat…

Renteria and Huff are off the books at the end of this season which is about 12 mill.

5 years 4 months ago

In that case, it would probably be feasible to get Lincecum at perhaps 16 mil per at minimum, and still get Pablo signed up.

5 years 4 months ago

Even if they do lock up Panda and Lincecum that’s roughly 30 million to just 2 players that leaves 60 million for the rest of the roster including Cain and Zito. They might be able to lock up their young stars but does that leave them enough money to be able to improve enough to make the Giants champions?

5 years 4 months ago

It’ll be tough. It’s humanly possible to ride your pitching to the WS (See the Astros of 05, though they did have alright hitting as well), but winning it all is another story (The Sox rode their pitching a bit, but had a good lineup with a good amount of power).

5 years 4 months ago

not to mention the 20 million that is being paid for the stadium. after 2011 it is paid off. i’m sure the giants can use some of that money to pay for his salary.

5 years 4 months ago

I think you mean 2013 Mike… Not 2016… His option is 16mil for 2013….

5 years 4 months ago

Thanks, fixed.

5 years 4 months ago

if he would have stayed at catcher…he might be giving joe mauer a run for his money for best catcher in baseball right now.

but anyways…i think sense he is only 23…the giants do have a bit of luxury of offering a 5+ year deal without having to deal with the aging factor. but 250lbs….maybe throw in some incentives for losing weight.

5 years 4 months ago

I think you have to take quite a bit off the top if you are using Wright as a comparable deal. The perception is that guys like Panda are much, much, much more likely to break down over time with weight related injuries. The required move to 1B also really hurts his value.

You could use Wright as a starting point and then subtract maybe 10-20% for the reasons listed above. That would give him 6/$45-50m. To sweeten the pot I would look at matching Wrights deal dollar for dollar for the guaranteed years and then lowering the cost on the team options. That guarantees that Panda gets at LEAST $23-$24m over the next 4 years. The team is protected should his body go down the tubes.

5 years 4 months ago

I think I’d wait after this year to see how he performs, even though I have a lot of confidence in him being just as good as he was last year. I just think it’d be smart to make sure he didn’t just have a fluke season. I just don’t wanna see the Giants hand out another monster contract and have it not work out.

Pseudonymus Bosch
5 years 4 months ago

I was just playing Out of the Park Baseball 8 (the 2007 version) as the Giants, and laughed out loud when I discovered that Pablo Sandoval’s “home run power potential” was something like 3 out of 20, his “contact potential” was 5, and his “batter patience” rating was 5 too. He was in rookie leagues, had awful numbers, and a computer scout sent me a message saying, “We are worried about 3B Pablo Sandoval. He seems to be heading in the wrong direction.”

Roy Munson
5 years 4 months ago

I love the Kung – Fu Panda… he’s an awesome hitter and does great things for my fantasy teamn, i hope the Giants lock this guy up.. he seems like a good guy and a good fit in Frisco…

5 years 4 months ago

Not only does this guy do alot with the Bat:

-He’s a fan favorite in SF.
-His UZR/150 (while it was a negative number) isn’t as bad as you would think. He was better last year defensively than: David Wright, AROD, Michael Young and Chipper. According to UZR/150.
-He’s great in the clubhouse and all his teammates love him.

If they can get some “cost certainty” which is vital to a team that isn’t the Yankees, Sox, Cubs, Mets etc, they will be alot better off. Once he is up for arbitration he is going to be making some good money.

If they can lock him up for years to come, it wouldn’t matter to me and shouldn’t matter to anyone esle whether he was playing 3rd, 1st or somehow lost 50 pounds and played LF he should be signed to as long a term as possible. If the Giants can get a David Wright deal length wise with the club options at the end, and Sandoval can get some financial security at the same time they would both be very smart to do so.

Something like say; 5 years 40 million with a club option for year 6 at 14 million and another club option for year 7 at 16 million I think Sandoval would sign today and SF would have a great young player locked up for at least 5 years (and if they choose, for the full 7 years.

The whole deal if the options were picked up would average out to 10 million per year, and at the end (with the options picked up) he will be 31 or 32 and can go out and get paid again.

There is no doubt in my mind that he will be worth every penny of that for years to come. Not to mention that if they were to fall out of contention and had a fire sale in 3 or 4 years, the contract would be very movable and they could get some very good value for a switch hitting offensive player that in the AL would be able to play 1st, 3rd and DH depending on how big he is by then.

I love the guy, if you can’t tell…

5 years 4 months ago

He’s not even arb. eligible until after next season, that’s called cost certainty. If his performance dictates the need for an extension, revisit this when he is much closer to arbitration. This goes back to the Heyward post of last week. Just because a player is good when they’re young does not mean they need to be locked up. Let the Giants take advantage of the Basic Agreement and pay Sandoval in due time. Players are overpaid in free agency because of their relative surfdom during the pre-arb years. I will never understand the necessity to needlessly lock a player into a long term deal when the process favors the club at this point.

5 years 4 months ago

With all the fine young players the Giants have in the majors or high minors, they will need to be creative in order to keep them all. I thought they did well with Matt Cain this past off-season, although their re-signing of Brian Wilson and Jeremy Affeldt were a bit more iffy.

They also fared well with Tim Lincecum, or at the very least reduced their arbitration risk. IMO the Giants should have locked Tim up when they first brought him to San Francisco. But there were (and still are) concerns about the longevity of his arm, and they had just spent a fortune with the worst free agent signing in their history.

If Pablo Sandoval doesn’t remain a productive player, the Giants will have a very hard time reaching what appears to be a very exciting potential as early as 2012 or possibly even 2011. If they can reach a good deal, why not lock him up before he becomes too expensive to do so? If they can put weight clauses in his contract, all the better.

Pablo will be arbitration-eligible after the 2012 season. The good news is that Edgar Renteria’s contract will be up after 2011, and Aaron Rowand’s will be over the same time Pablo becomes arb-eligible.

Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner likely won’t become arb-eligible until after the 2013 season, when the Giants can choose to cut Barry Zito loose. Given that Barry’s buyout for the 2014 season is $7 million, though, if he continues to pitch around a 4.00 ERA, the Giants would likely pick up his $18 million option for 2014, since their net cost compared to the buyout would be “only” $11 million.

The dollars could get tight, but if the Giants become creative and avoid signing overpriced, underproducing free agents, they just might be able to manage.

The good news is that the young Giants pitchers seem to want to stay together. As Giants fans, we should be very eager for that to occur.

5 years 4 months ago

I would be surprised if the Giants do anything right now. They dragged their heels just to get their franchise player and almost went to arbitration, so I doubt they will do anything for Panda. Neukom will not let anyone have more than a two year contract anyway.