Should Sabean reward Sandoval?

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Should Sabean reward Sandoval?

Let's assume Pablo Sandoval's shoulder, whether or not it requires offseason surgery, isn't anything to sweat beyond his winter recovery.Is it time to offer him a long-term deal?Eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason, Sandoval is coming off a bounce-back season that would have made him a lock for Comeback Player of the Year had he not missed six weeks with a wrist injury. In fact, he might win the award, anyway; the missed time didn't stop him from making the National League All-Star team, and he took advantage of that opportunity by drilling an RBI double that helped the NL ice the game.He's been the most valuable Giant, no? Of course. He's been the most consistently productive guy on the offensive side of the roster, without question.
His 2011 salary? A bargain-basement 500,000.
In addition to his offense, he's had a fairly spectacular defensive season at the hot corner, and the reason he's been so good this year is that he responded to an ultimatum about his weight -- issued at the start of last offseason by general manager Brian Sabean -- by dropping between 40-45 pounds.Sandoval, who fell out of favor (and the lineup) last year as his waistline reached grotesque proportions, is a man transformed, and he has the potential to transform the future of the franchise. He was a revelation in 2009, and it's easy to look at 2011 as the first step on his climb to genuine superstardom.So what do you do as he enters the first of three years of arbitration eligibility. Lock him up for three years, let him know how valued he is, make him feel like a key part of the future, guarantee him a certain level of finical security while locking in some payroll certainty or your own?Or do you wait a year or so? Make sure the commitment he showed to fitness last season wasn't a one-year deal. Hold off on spending any more money than you have to until you see him report for spring training 2012 without a massive flesh fanny pack.Three years for a total of 20 million? If this is the real Panda, that'd be a steal. If it's not, that'd be a big mistake.What would you do?

BREAKING: Giants sign Pablo Sandoval to minor league deal

BREAKING: Giants sign Pablo Sandoval to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO — Three years after departing for what he thought would be a better fit, Pablo Sandoval has returned. 

The third baseman, a key cog in the dynasty the Giants built earlier this decade, re-signed with the organization on a minor league deal on Saturday morning. Sandoval will join Class-A San Jose immediately and move on to Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday. He was in the AT&T Park clubhouse on Saturday to take a physical. 

Sandoval, now 30 years old, spent the first seven years of his career in San Francisco, batting .294 with 106 homers amid battles with his weight and inconsistency. The Giants never quite got on the same page with Sandoval when it came to his conditioning, and he alternated between being a valued power hitter in the middle of their lineup and sitting on the verge of being replaced. 

In Boston, there were no such highs. Sandoval played just 161 games over three seasons, batting .237 with 14 homers, and playing poor defense. He posted a negative Wins Above Replacement in all three seasons with the Red Sox and he was designated for assignment last week. Sandoval twice cleared waivers, so the Red Sox are on the hook for the remainder of a five-year, $95 million contract. 

The Giants have not yet commented publicly about Sandoval, citing tampering rules. The view from team employees seems to be that there’s little risk in signing a former fan favorite who comes essentially for free. With Christian Arroyo on the disabled list, Sandoval will not be blocking one of the organization’s top prospects, although you can argue that a last-place team would be better served looking at players like Ryder Jones.

Most players were guarded in their comments this week. Hunter Pence, the lone player mentioned in a positive light by Sandoval in a scathing article after his departure, said he is excited for a reunion. Others offered some version of, “If he helps us win, so be it.” 

It’s unclear if Sandoval can still do that, and multiple team officials, speaking on background this week, said it’s a coin flip whether Sandoval ever returns to the majors. Still, the Giants are willing to flip that coin, and their history says they don't sign veterans and leave them in the minors. 

Giants make roster moves; right-handed bullpen arm, infielder recalled

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USATSI

Giants make roster moves; right-handed bullpen arm, infielder recalled

The Giants announced a quartet of roster moves ahead of Game 3 of their series against the San Diego Padres. 

Albert Suarez and Orlando Calixte have been recalled from triple-A Sacramento while Steven Okert and Jae-Gyun Hwang have been optioned down to triple-A. 

Suarez has missed the entire season with shoulder and calf injuries. 

Calixte has appeared in eight games with the Giants this season. In 29 plate appearences, he has four hits and three runs batted in. 

Hwang hit .167 in his time with the big league club.