When it comes to free agency, the Giants take care of their own. Pablo Sandoval could be the latest to benefit from the team's loyalty. The Giants committed $166 million to four of their players due to be free agents this winter, but Sandoval was perceived to be a different case, if only because his fitness and weight issues make his employers hesitant to invest long term. But general manager Brian Sabean opened the door Tuesday to a possible contract extension for the third baseman, so long as he reports to spring training in good shape and is able to perform on the field. "If you've looked at what happened recently with free-agent position players," Sabean said, "a guy coming up on 27 years old, with two leagues involved, he's not going to be short on suitors, trust me. No matter what his weight is." The training staff has kept in contact with Sandoval in his native Venezuela, and his brother, Michael, has posted videos on social media of a trimmed-down Pablo. Asked if Sandoval is going to be in shape for the spring, trainer Dave Groeschner said, "He keeps telling us he is. It's his time to do it. He seems motivated." Sandoval is entering the final year of a three-year, $17.15 million contract. He's a .298 career hitter with a .351 on-base percentage and .476 slugging percentage, and these days that equates to untold riches on the open market. "I would hope we're favorably impressed when he comes to spring training, and I wouldn't rule out talking about an extension," Sabean said. "Position players, especially a switch-hitter with run-producing capability, are hard to find." The Giants have taken calls on Sandoval from teams thinking the 2012 World Series MVP might be traded nearing free agency. On the contrary, Sabean wants to keep him. "I'm not a doctor. I'm not the good Lord. So I don't know what somebody's able to do with their weight and body type as they go forward. I can't predict that," Sabean said. "He's a Giant. Whatever his weight's been, I know Pablo loves the game. He's got a great passion.
Huge payday ahead if Sandoval slims down
San Francisco Chronicle | Dec 11