Pablo Sandoval will be younger than 30 if/when he hits the Free Agent market after this season. As long as the Panda stays healthy, the Giants will very likely attach a qualifying offer to him, guaranteeing at least a draft pick out of him if they aren’t able to guarantee more years and less money in the bank by bringing him back. While beat writer Hank Schulman suggests the Hunter Pence deal could be a template for Pablo’s contract, another beat writer hears something else related to Hunter Pence’s contract:
I heard Pablo Sandoval’s asking price was well north of Pence’s 5-year/$90M deal. No wonder Sabean told @hankschulman the club will hold off
— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) March 23, 2014
Maybe that isn’t All The Money, but it is a lot. The Giants already have six players in 2015 that will get paid more than ten million in Matt Cain, Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, Tim Hudson, and Angel Pagan, so I’m sure the club will have no problem giving off the front that they want to save some money. However, the market of those that could be there, doesn’t look too appealing. As Hank reminds us, Pence didn’t get an extension before the 2013 season, so let’s not pretend that this means this is the end of Pablo Sandoval and San Francisco. The risk the Giants run by not meeting the rumored sky-high demands, is that the demands will get higher if Pablo returns to 2009 or 2011 form, which really isn’t all that long ago, or asking too much of a player coming into his age 27 season.
If the Giants see a repeat of 2013 in 2014, I would hope the Giants look at trading the Panda because the possibilities from there can be pretty good, especially for finding some relief at the hot corner. Then again, I also hoped the Giants would have traded Javier Lopez in 2013 and that didn’t happen, but their asking price was also too high for the market. I expect the Giants to hold on to Pablo Sandoval in the end, perhaps six years with an option for a seventh at Hunter Pence money.