The Pablo Sandoval negotiations have been a fascinating exercise in free agency. The Red Sox seemed to be in the lead Friday for the switch-hitting third baseman with an enhanced five-year, $95 million offer, after the San Diego Padres had made a strong offer of their own.
The San Francisco Giants stepped up Saturday with discussions that put them back at least level with the Red Sox, according to a major league source.
San Diego’s offer wasn’t disclosed, but major league sources indicated the Padres were in the same range as the Red Sox and Giants. Sandoval has recevied offers from all three teams, according to Fox Sports. The Padres made the highest offer but Sandoval is leaning toward the Red Sox, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
A sixth year would likely separate the teams.
The Padres put a full-court press on Sandoval in Miami, with their ownership attending the meeting.
Sandoval met with Sox GM Ben Cherington last Monday and Tuesday, and left Boston with an offer Wednesday, according to a Red Sox source.
The Red Sox thought the Sandoval sweepstakes might conclude positively for them Saturday, but the Giants stepped up in an attempt to keep from losing their popular third baseman.
GM Brian Sabean, when asked if the Giants were still in the hunt, said, “Of course!” He also indicated that Sandoval had yet to make a decision.
The Red Sox project that Sandoval would have better numbers playing 81 games at Fenway Park as opposed to AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Sandoval’s inside-out, lefthanded swing is suited for Fenway. One issue is his weight — Sandoval is 5 feet 11, 245 pounds — but he’s been able to lose it when needed, including before the start of last season.