As Pablo Sandoval celebrated with his teammates at the parade Friday afternoon, many were trying to get a headline out of him.
“I want to wear that jersey for the rest of my career,” Sandoval said to the associated press. “I’m going to go from what my heart tells me.”
After winning his third ring with San Francisco, the switch hitting third baseman will enter free agency for the first time. He will be extended the qualifying offer of around $15.2 million that he will reject.
CEO Larry Baer said “Pablo’s a huge part of the family” and adding on that re-signing him is a top priority this offseason.
“We’re going to do anything possible to keep it together the best we can,” Baer said. “Literally, when that last shot of confetti goes out, we’re going to be hunkered down after today. I think the fans believe we have a good track record along those lines. We’ve stayed pretty consistent in the approach ”
Sandoval, 28, will likely test the free agent waters due to the high demand for third baseman’s and the low supply. After the 2013 season, the Giants and Hunter Pence got a deal done in the ten day window before other teams could contact him. The Red Sox, Dodgers, Marlins, and Yankees could be interested in the three time World Series winner.
“I want to wear that jersey for the rest of my career. I’m going to go from what my heart tells me.” – Pablo Sandoval
“I would love to be back here, I love the fans, I love my teammates,” Sandoval stated. “They taught me a lot of things, to respect the game and play the game right.”
The postseason star has a career .935 OPS in 39 postseason games going back to 2010. He won the 2012 World Series Most Valuable Player after hitting 3 game one homers leading the Giants over the Tigers in a sweep. He has a combined FanGraphs WAR of 20.9 in 869 games while hitting 106 home runs and putting up a 122 wRC+. Steamer of FanGraphs projects him hitting for a .788 OPS, 120 wRC+, with 21 home runs in 2015 while playing 146 games.
Brian Sabean, the Giants general manager since 1996, has been known to keep his players, but this could be different. The two sides tossed around offers in the spring, but tabled the talks after both sides became disgruntled.
After winning the championships in 2010 and 2012 Sabean handed out a combined $103 million to Marco Scutaro, Jeremy Affeldt, Angel Pagan and Aubrey Huff. Those deals were more about what they did for the club instead of what they were going to give in the future. Has Sabean learned from those mistakes? He’ll have to decide soon as Jake Peavy, Ryan Vogelsong, Sergio Romo, Michael Morse along with Sandoval are free agents this winter.
San Francisco’s $165 million payroll, sixth highest in the majors, will go up slightly in 2015 due to Madison Bumgarner receiving bonuses of $100,000 for his World Series MVP and $75,000 for the NLCS MVP. Even though they spent $165 million, only $100 million was used in the World Series if you don’t count Tim Lincecum’s one plus inning of work.
“Obviously, we’ve got three rings in five years, the guy [Sabean] knows what he’s doing,” Affeldt stated about his general manager.
Oct 25, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval hits a double against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning during game four of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports