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Pablo ‘Panda’ Sandoval Courted By Red Sox And Padres, Giants Hopeful To Retain

San Francisco Giants free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval is reportedly being courted heavily by the perennial playoff contending Boston Red Sox and the San Diego Padres, a team that finished last in the National League in offense and is in dire need of rebuilding. MLB.com calls the Padres offer ‘competitive,’ while ESPN reports that the Red Sox have offered the popular slugger a five-year contract worth $95 million.

The 28-year-old Sandoval has won three World Series championships with the Giants in five years, and is a two-time all-star.

The Padres have also reportedly offered Sandoval a five-year deal, but whether the contract surpasses Boston’s $95 million offer is as of yet undisclosed. While thought to be the long shot, Padres General Manager A.J. Preller is said to be willing to offer the largest contract in the team’s history to nab Sandoval, surpassing the former Friar Jake Peavy’s three-year, $52 million extension from 2007. The Padres are also reportedly interested in Cuban free agent Yasmany Tomas.

The switch-hitting Sandoval would be a welcome addition to the Red Sox line-up, where he could stand to increase his power numbers driving the ball down Fenway Park’s short right-field line as well as his on base percentage slapping balls off the Big Green Monster in left field.

San Francisco is hopeful that they can re-sign the popular third baseman. While specifics of the offer have yet to be disclosed, the San Francisco Chronicle has reported that the Giants offer to Sandoval is currently the highest money deal on the table, and quoted Giants Assistant G.M. Bobby Evans who expects that Sandoval’s connection to the San Francisco fan base would be a key factor in keeping the Panda in the Bay.

“I think the interest is sincere. I think Pablo loves this fan base as much as any player loves a fan base, and that could go a long way.”

Sandoval has met with Red Sox team officials and reportedly had dinner with Boston slugger David Ortiz in Boston earlier this week, while Padres G.M. Preller will reportedly fly personally to Miami to meet with Sandoval’s agent, Gustavo Vasquez, in hopes of luring the Panda’s services. One key point that could make the difference in landing Sandoval would be the option for a sixth year, which Vasquez claims that Sandoval is seeking. Neither the Boston Red Sox nor the San Francisco Giants are reportedly interested in offering a sixth year.