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Red Sox’ offer for Pablo Sandoval may be in lead

Pablo Sandoval celebrated a World Series championship in October. Will he be celebrating a contract with the Red Sox soon?Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Red Sox might be pulling ahead in the race for Pablo Sandoval.

A major league source indicated the Red Sox’ five-year, $95 million offer may be in the lead over Sandoval’s offers from the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres.

It’s not certain whether any of the teams have offered a sixth-year option.

Sandoval would like to make a decision soon. He visited the Red Sox Monday and Tuesday and came away with an offer.

The switch-hitting third baseman, considered one of the top hitters in the free agent pool, is coming off his third World Series title with the Giants over the last five seasons and surely improved his market value by hitting .366 in the postseason.


The Red Sox are seeking stability at third base, and the 28-year-old Sandoval would provide that, as well as give the lineup another lefthanded presence to go with 39-year-old DH David Ortiz.

Sandoval hit .317 against righthanded pitching last season, and in his career is hitting .303 from the left side. Of his 106 career home runs, 88 have come against righties (83 percent).

Though Sandoval hit .199 from the right side in 2014, he’s hit lefties at a .271 clip for his career.

During an interview with a San Francisco radio station on Thursday, Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans expressed hope that Sandoval, one of the more popular Giants players, would return to the Bay Area. He also said Sandoval was likely to make his decision before Thanksgiving.

Sandoval declined the Giants’ qualifying offer of $15.3 million for the 2015 season.

The Toronto Blue Jays were also believed to have sincere interest in signing Sandoval, but GM Alex Anthopoulos said Thursday he had not made any other free agent offers other than signing catcher Russell Martin this week.