Pablo Sandoval came into the offseason among the most attractive free agents on the open market, but that may not be the case that much longer. Sandoval is inching closer to making a decision according to a recent report from John Shea of SF Gate and is leaning towards accepting an offer from the Red Sox.
According to a source familiar with the negotiations, Sandoval has concrete offers in hand from the Giants, Padres and Red Sox and is expected to make a decision between the three teams. According to the report from Shea, Sandoval is leaning towards accepting an offer with the Red Sox, despite the fact that the Padres have put the most money on the table.
While money is important to Sandoval, a source close to the third basemen said he expressed interest in signing with the Red Sox above all other teams even before his visit with Boston brass at Fenway Park last week. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe previously reported that the team offered Sandoval a five-year deal for $95 million. Sandoval's agent Gustavo Vazquez had told Over the Monster that he expected the Red Sox to present a five or six year offer to Sandoval.
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Vazquez told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports that the offers from the Giants, Padres and Red Sox were all close and added more on the negotiations on Twitter.
With the Red Sox looking for stability at third base, the team's pursuit of Sandoval makes a lot of sense given Will Middlebrooks' struggles. Sandoval hit .317/.363/.461 against right-handed pitchers last season while hitting .199/.244/.319 against lefties. In the postseason, Sandoval improve his market by hitting .366 en route to the Giants' World Series title.
A deal for Sandoval is not quite "imminent", but a decision is expected next week. As with any free agent negotiation, things are incredibly fluid, but the chances that Sandoval ends up having to find a new home in Boston appear to be growing.