Weight issues are nothing new for Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval. He's struggled with his conditioning throughout his career, and things got so bad that GM Brian Sabean once threatened to send him to the minors if he didn't get in shape.
Sandoval has shed weight over the winter a few times before, but never as much as this winter. The switch-hitter has dropped 42 (!) pounds this offseason thanks to good ol' diet and exercise.
The Biggest Loser, #SFGiants edition: Pablo Sandoval has said he's dropped 42 pounds this winter due to offseason training— Rafael Rojas C (@rafaelrojasc) January 14, 2014
Sandoval's brother posted this photo recently, showing the weight loss:
Obviously keeping the weight off during the regular season is important, but Sandoval should have some extra motivation this year. He is due to become a free agent next offseason and a massive payday could be in the future. Sandoval won't turn 28 until August and a year like 2009 (25 HR and 144 OPS+) or 2011 (23 HR and 155 OPS+) could lead to a nine-figure payout. A year like 2010 (13 HR and 99 OPS+) or 2013 (14 HR and 119 OPS+) figures to mean something considerably less.
Sandoval was listed at 240 pounds last year but that wasn't accurate. He was said to be closer to 270 pounds when he reported to camp. Dropping 42 pounds should have him around 230, which is still high (he's listed at 5-foot-11) but not nearly as problematic. Sandoval is always going to be big, that's just his body type, but 42 pounds could mean all the difference in the world for his performance. And his bank account.