Giants General Manager Bobby Evans has refuted rumors that San Francisco was considering making a push for Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval according to Chris Haft of MLB.com. In other news, water is wet and the sky is blue.
This is a bit of news that you probably could have penciled in as soon as the original Sandoval story caught on. The Giants, after all, were just following the usual schedule when it comes to pipe dream trade scenarios:
- Miracle trade rumor appears
- Fans of team hoping for the deal freak out
- Supposed savior team acts like this is shocking news to them
- Nothing happens
So here’s the deal: the subject of Sandoval almost certainly came up in San Francisco. Yes, I’m suggesting general managers do not always tell the full truth when speaking on the record. Shocking, I know. The Giants threw his name around as a possibility to mix in with Eduardo Nunez, likely with the idea being that the Red Sox would eat most of his salary allowing the Giants to basically acquire Sandoval as a utility player being played like one. Maybe he flourishes back in his old environment, maybe not.
If, in the meantime, they haven’t come up with a better option or had some sort of negative contact with the Red Sox, chances are that idea is still on the table. But for all the reasons we covered over the weekend, the Giants are unlikely to find a willing trade partner in Boston, as crazy as it might sound to suggest the Red Sox would do anything to keep the beleaguered Panda in Boston.
Until they’re much closer to actually bringing Sandoval to San Francisco, though, it does the Giants no good to acknowledge they’re even considering him. It sends a vote of no-confidence to their projected starting third baseman coming off the best year of his career, and alerts the 29 other teams the Giants might deal with that a seemingly settled position is, in fact, seen as an area of need.
As ever, in a adversarial system like baseball, the more information you have that your opponents don’t, the better. If the Giants actually are interested in Sandoval, the first official notice we’re likely to see from them is at a press conference where he’s putting on his old colors. If, indeed, Sandoval still merits that sort of fanfare in San Francisco.
In the meantime, don’t put too much weight on even the words of a general manager. You can still hold on hope that Sandoval is on the way out if that helps you get through the day. It’s still not at all likely to happen, but there’s little reason to believe San Francisco’s denial here, since it’s exactly what they’d say even if they were deep in trade talks with the Red Sox.