Pablo Sandoval's days in San Francisco may be winding down, as the Giants' third baseman is eligible for free agency this offseason and is expected to be highly sought after. According to MLB Network's Peter Gammons, a "bunch of teams" are looking at the two-time All-Star, including the Miami Marlins and Boston Red Sox, who are both "very interested."
ESPN's Buster Olney reported this morning that the Giants are interested in re-signing Sandoval, and plan on extending him a qualifying offer regardless. Olney mentions that the Giants are prepared to offer Sandoval a three-year deal, but deems four years as a "stretch." Meanwhile, Gammons reports that Sandoval is seeking a deal similar to the five-year, $90 million extension that Hunter Pence signed with the Giants just under a year ago. The divide between the two sides is quite evident, and considering the dearth of hitting talent available this offseason, Sandoval's ultimate contract could be too much for the Giants to justify bringing him back.
Both the Marlins and Red Sox could have needs at third base next season. For the Marlins Casey McGehee has been a great reclamation project this season, and he is arbitration eligible this offseason, so the Marlins do hold his rightss for next year. However, after a blistering start that nearly earned him an All-Star nod, McGehee has slumped in the second half, hitting just .256/.331/.331 since the start of August, and is now barely an above-average offensive player, with an OPS+ of 101. The Marlins' logical replacement, Collin Moran who was taken 6th overall in the 2013 draft, was dealt to Houston for Jarred Cosart at the deadline.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, aren't without legitimate third base options for next season, though none come without their flaws. Brock Holt has been great this season, but he more of a super-utility player. Garin Cecchini is highly regarded, but may be due back for another year in the minors after a poor performance at Triple-A this season. And the incumbent Will Middlebrooks has been absolutely terrible this year. So, on paper you could see a need for Sandoval, though Boston's depth could encourage them to save the money and seek a solution in-house.
The 28-year-old Sandoval has been an above-average player for most of his career, providing a majority of his value on offense. In 597 plate appearances this season, Sandoval has hit .285/.332/.431 with 16 home runs, a 118 OPS+, and 3.9 WAR.