Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday night that free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval is seeking a six-year deal. According to Schulman, his agent is more interested in job security than any money he might potentially lose by locking in to a long deal at 28 years old.
However, SB Nation's Chris Cotillo also spoke to Sandoval's agent, Gustavo Vazquez, and Vazquez denied the Schulman report that a minimum number of years had been set, saying instead that "we're just looking for the best deal for Pablo." So... Sandoval does and does not require a six-year deal in order to sign. Got that?
This is strange, since it's the same source giving two different answers. Did Vazquez and Sandoval talk it over and change their minds in between conversations? In the most literal sense, Schulman reported that Sandoval "wants" a six-year deal, not requires it. It's good to want things, it's also good to be flexible and recognize that not everyone is going to be happy about the idea of a six-year contract. With that in mind, maybe what happened here is that Vazquez was just clarifying everyone's translation of Schulman's tweet. Sandoval would like six years, but they're happy to entertain whatever the top deal is, i.e. please don't be scared off and keep the price from driving itself up over the next few weeks.
The Red Sox are interested in Sandoval, but probably not for six years. If they can get it to five and Sandoval sees a bump in pay as a tradeoff for dropping that sixth year desire, then mission accomplished by both sides. If you frighten off potential suitors with deep pockets beforehand by seeming as if you are demanding that sixth year, then that doesn't happen.
I don't even need to ask if y'all are happy about the idea of Sandoval for six years, but how does five sound if that's what it takes to bring Panda east?