Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who's eligible for free agency after this season, has asked the team for at least a five-year, $90 million contract extension, but the Giants aren't prepared to offer such a deal at this time, writes Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
As Schulman notes, the five years and $90 million match the numbers on the extension that outfielder Hunter Pence signed with the Giants in September of last year. The Giants, though, are reluctant to make that kind of commitment to a player -- Sandoval -- whose conditioning has at times been sorely lacking.
More from Schulman:
Team officials still insist they hope to keep Sandoval from free agency when he is eligible after the season and expect to entertain discussions with Sandoval's representatives sometime during the season. The Giants just don't feel pressure to get a deal done before Opening Day, as they did with Matt Cain in 2012 and Buster Posey last year.
Provided Sandoval is willing to negotiate in-season (many players of course are not), then a healthy and productive start to 2014 could make the team more willing to meet the asking price. But will Sandoval decide to test the market if he's unsigned when opening day arrives? Therein lies the question.
Across parts of six major-league seasons, Sandoval has batted .298/.351/.476 (127 OPS+) with 90 home runs. In 2012, he was named World Series MVP.