SATURDAY: Contrary to Drellich’s report, the Giants have not talked about reacquiring Sandoval, according to Chris Haft of MLB.com. General manager Bobby Evans expects Nunez to serve as the team’s primary third baseman next year and is focusing his efforts on finding a closer, writes Haft. While club executives aren’t allowed to publicly discuss acquiring players who are under contract elsewhere, Evans did address the Sandoval situation, telling Haft, “I’m not aware of any consideration of a reunion, but we’ll never forget all that he meant to the Giants organization.”
FRIDAY: The Giants have had internal discussions about trying to strike a deal for Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval, according to Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald. It is not known whether the two organizations have talked about the former San Francisco star.
Sandoval, 30, is two years into what has been a disastrous free agent contract with the Red Sox. Entering the 2014-15 offseason, he was widely regarded as a high-quality option at the hot corner, with youth on his side and a resume full of strong contributions with the bat and the glove. The Giants pursued a reunion, but Sandoval ultimately took five years and $95MM to head east.
The productivity came to an end as soon as he reached Boston, however. Sandoval posted a decidedly mediocre .245/.292/.366 batting line in his first season with his new organization, and drew abysmal reviews for his fielding at the hot corner. He lost his starting job in camp heading into 2016, and ultimately underwent season-ending shoulder surgery.
Beyond Sandoval’s age and track record, there’s not much to commend him at this point. He has notably struggled with his weight before, but it has been a greater problem than ever with the Red Sox, and it’s hard to know what to make of the latest reports that he is in better shape. And now, Sandoval has the shoulder issue to work back from, too.
Still, the Giants have drawn good work from Sandoval in the past. While his contract is very clearly under water, he’s hardly owed a monumental sum. Including the buyout on a 2020 option, Sandoval is set to earn $58MM over the next three seasons. While there’s no chance that San Francisco will take that on in full, it’s not impossible to imagine the sides coming to a meeting of the minds.
The Giants do have Eduardo Nunez and Conor Gillaspie on hand to cover third, neither is clearly an everyday option there, and both could be put to use elsewhere. Interestingly, though, the Red Sox probably have the greater need at the position. Travis Shaw and Brock Holt are under team control, and Yoan Moncada could be the long-term solution, but it’s an area in flux at present with Sandoval still a question mark.