MLB Winter Meetings: 5 Potential Landing Spots for San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval
5 Potential Landing Spots For Pablo Sandoval
Pablo Sandoval, known as the Kung Fu Panda in the baseball world, has been at the center of attention in San Francisco over the last few weeks as the San Francisco Giants are currently exploring trade possibilities for the hefty third baseman. Sandoval is currently signed through 2014, a year in which he is going to make $8.25 million. While he is not an All-Star caliber player, he is certainly a positional upgrade on most squads at either corner infield position.
A career .298 hitter, Sandoval has finished the season over .300 in three of his six MLB seasons. Breaking into the scene at the ripe age of 21, he hit .345 in 41 games during his rookie season. In his first full season in the league in 2009, he hit .330 with 25 home runs and 90 RBIs, his best statistical season. In 2010, he had his worst statistical year in which he batted .268 to go with 13 home runs and 63 RBIs. He bounced back in 2011, where he batted an impressive .315, hitting 23 home runs and knocking in 70 runs. His last two seasons were pretty similar, as he batted .283 with 12 home runs and 63 RBIs in 2012, and .278 with 14 home runs and 79 RBIs in 2013.
With Sandoval, you pretty much know what you’re going to get: 12-18 home runs and 60-80 RBIs to go with a .280-.300 average. Known as a free swinger, Sandoval is very aggressive, but surprisingly doesn’t strike out a lot. He has never struck out 100 times in a season, and has only struck out a total of 379 times in 2,895 plate appearances. Comically, he has only walked 220 times in all of those plate appearances. His season high for walks was in 2009 when he walked 52 times in 633 plate appearances. In other words, he’s up there to hit, and that’s it.
Here are the five teams that the Kung Fu Panda can end up on in the coming weeks.
5. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox have reportedly been in contact with the Giants over acquiring Sandoval to become their full-time first baseman after Mike Napoli declined their qualifying offer. If they don’t re-sign Napoli, who most likely wants a multi-year deal, the Red Sox may have a huge void that needs to be filled at first base. Sandoval would fit nicely in the Sox lineup, most likely hitting in the fifth or sixth spot.
4. Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers also have a need for a corner infield upgrade. With Amaris Ramirez declining at third base and with no real major league first baseman, the Brewers should be interested in acquiring Sandoval. The only question is if the Giants would be interested in any of their prospects or players on their MLB roster.
3. New York Yankees
With Alex Rodriguez most likely out for the entire 2014 season, and possibly for good, the New York Yankees have been very active this offseason, signing Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year, $142 million deal. This leaves them with a surplus of outfielders, and I wouldn’t rule out a Brett Gardner-Pablo Sandoval swap.
2. Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners have proven that they want to be buyers this offseason. Yet, they might have a hard time signing free agents. I can see them packaging some young talent and maybe Miguel Montero, which would give the Giants a catching/first base option so Buster Posey can play some more games at first base.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers would love to have Sandoval on the hot corner. Luis Cruz, Jerry Hairston and Nick Punto all took turns playing third base for L.A. last season, and after Hanley Ramirez moved back to shortstop, the need for a third baseman became very apparent. Sandoval would fit in nicely and is used to playing in the NL West. The Dodgers wouldn’t mind giving up a few pitching or hitting prospects as the big-league roster is pretty much stacked.