NL West Rumors: Pablo Sandoval Back To The Giants?

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Pablo Sandoval wants to get paid a lot of money, but would also like to return to the San Francisco Giants. So will he be back in the National League West as a regular foe for the Colorado Rockies?

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No matter the degree of your San Francisco Giants’ baggage, if you’re a Rockies’ fan, watching Pablo Sandoval splayed out in delight after catching the final out of the 2014 World Series was unpleasant.

It’s nothing against Sandoval in particular, but rather a general distaste for the fact that a divisional foe won another championship, and one of the faces of that team has been Sandoval.

With the end of the 2014 season, however, Sandoval might have played his last game with the Giants. The third baseman is a free agent, and contact negotiations between Sandoval and the Giants never got off the ground over the course of the last year or so.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that Sandoval wants a large sum of money, but also wants to re-sign with the Giants. Now it is just a matter of which of those interests wins out in the end. From Heyman:

"Sandoval was seeking north of $100 million even in spring and those lean early months, as was written here. So of course he is still seeking the same type of money — at least — now that he is officially a free agent and coming off his World Series heroics……But it’s still hard to see Sandoval playing anywhere besides San Francisco. And, for the record, he’d like nothing more than to remain a Giant.“He loves the city. He loves the team. He loves the fans,” Vazquez said. “And he wants to stay.”"

Sandoval was a 3.3 bWAR player in 2014 in 157 games played. He batted .279/.324/.415 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI. Those are solid numbers, but not necessarily the kind of numbers that should earn a guy a $100 million deal. Furthermore, there are significant questions about how Sandoval will age because of his weight issues and because of years where he struggled to hold up over the course of the long season in terms of endurance.

The Giants seem to question Sandoval’s long-term value as much as anybody; otherwise, we wouldn’t even be talking about the third baseman as a free agent. This franchise is notorious for locking guys up before they hit the market, guys like Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and even Hunter Pence. It is significant that they did not do so with Sandoval.

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It could be good news and bad news for the Rockies if Sandoval ends up back in San Francisco. In the short term, it would mean the return of a good player to the division. It would mean more showdowns with “the Panda” in those dreadful AT&T Park games. If you are focused on the next couple seasons, the Giants re-signing Sandoval would be bad news for the Rockies.

In the long term, however, it could be good for the Rockies to have the Giants saddled with a bad Sandoval contract. I’m not necessarily sold that the Giants will pony up big money and years for Sandoval, but even the most level-headed front offices might be swayed by the fresh memory of a World Series title. If Sandoval gets a $100 million deal from the Giants, that will be bad for them down the road, and therefore potentially good for the Rockies and the rest of the NL West.

My bet? Sandoval ends up back in San Francisco for less money that he is apparently demanding. But until he lands somewhere, his free agency is one of the top stories around baseball this off-season.

Next: San Francisco Giants Win World Series, Again

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