Winter Meetings Day 2: Pablo Extension?


September 5, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) misses the ball on a dive hit by Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (44, not pictured) during the third inning at AT

Today marked day two of the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings, and day two of zip-nada-nothing on any free agency or trade news for the San Francisco Giants.

Perhaps the biggest news of the day – no pun intended – came on the Pablo Sandoval impending-free-agency front.

We learned that Brian Sabean and company are willing to explore a contract extension with Pablo this coming spring, a season before he hits the open market.

Sabean reportedly wants to avoid a bidding war for his services next offseason should he have a monstrous contract year in 2014.

Pablo was looking fairly svelte in a picture he tweeted out on Monday:

Of course the pitfall of any such long-term deal could be Sandoval getting too comfortable, losing focus and regaining weight as a result.  However, the Giants really have no alternatives at the moment — minor league prospects or otherwise — so it may behoove them to take a shot.

Good Pablo is just that — very, very good.  Losing him may create a hole at the hot corner not so easily traversed next offseason.  Does the reward outweigh the risk is the question Sabean and Co. have to answer.

Sandoval is still just 27-years-old and won’t turn 28 until August 11th.  San Francisco could potentially get him at a much cheaper rate now, should he indeed have a bounce-back season in 2014.  And of course there are the Panda hats to consider.

In other Winter Meetings news……

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent Mike Morse – who has been rumored to be of interest to help solve the Giants left field conundrum – is asking for a 1-year contract somewhere in the neighborhood of the $7-$8 million range.

Morse has been in the league for nine seasons but has only been healthy enough to play in 573 games over that time.  He hit 11 homeruns in April before being hobbled by injury yet again in 2013.

Aug 31, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles outfielder Mike Morse (38) before the start of a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Morse was acquired by the Orioles yesterday in a trade with the Seattle Mariners. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When on, he can provide a right-handed power boost. But, questions about his health and his poor play in the outfield leave that option as a gamble.  His best year in the Majors came just two seasons ago for the Washington Nationals when he hit .291/.321/.470 over 146 games with 31 HRs and 95 RBI.

Again — high risk, potentially high reward.

Ichiro had been mentioned in recent days as a potential left field option, but that has now been shot down – at least according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

According to John Shea, San Francisco checked in on Chicago White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza after the Sox acquired Adam Eaton from Arizona earlier today in a three team trade that saw the power-hitting Mark Trumbo head to the Diamondbacks.

De Aza turns 30 in April and hit .264/.323/.405 with 17 HRs, 62 RBI, 20 stolen bases, 147 strikeouts and 50 walks over 607 at bats, primarily out of the leadoff spot last year.

Basically, imagine Guillermo Moscoso, only this time playing left field.

With the emergence of catcher Andrew Susac in the Arizona Fall League as a potential backup to Buster Posey somewhere down the line, either he or Hector Sanchez could be involved in any trade talks moving forward.  According to Shea, teams have been asking about Sanchez and left-handed pitching prospect Edwin Escobar.

Susac hit .360 with 2 HRs, 7 RBI, 11 Ks and 16 BBs this fall.

Dec 10, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy talks during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Bochy and St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny will be speaking in front of a group of managers and GMs with the hope of convincing them and MLB vice president Joe Torre to consider a rule change in regard to collisions at the plate.

CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly has all of that info in the tweet below:

We learned that Barry Zito is carving up some waves in Maui – lucky guy – and that he may not pitch in 2014.  Again, Baggarly with the story below:

For the most part, the Winter Meetings have been extremely slow for Giants’ fans – especially if you are looking for an addition or change to the roster toot sweet.

For now, it appears we have this, and it may not be as bad as some make it out to be: