Programming note: Catch Giants GM Brian Sabean or Giants Assistant GM Bobby Evans every Tuesday throughout the baseball season on Yahoo SportsTalk Live.
SAN FRANCISCO – Giants GM Brian Sabean said he is “probably at the end of the rope” concerning contract negotiations with Pablo Sandoval, and that talks have been tabled between the club and its All-Star third baseman.
“We’ve given our best shot with good faith intended to try to get him signed and they’ve drawn a line in the sand that we’re not going to beat nor should we meet,” Sabean told CSN Bay Area’s Jim Kozimor on Yahoo Sportstalk Live Tuesday. “Things have been tabled and we’ll see what happens up the line, but we’re not going to have ongoing talks from this time forward.”
Sabean said the front office made that decision in the last 24 hours after the latest round of negotiations led to no movement on either side. Sandoval is looking for a baseline of Hunter Pence’s five-year, $90 million deal; as we first reported, he already turned down the Giants’ three-year, $40 million proposal in March.
Sabean is no fan of in-season negotiations because of the potential for distraction, and Sandoval’s .161 average has been hidden amid a very productive lineup over the Giants’ first eight games.
The GM said he sees no reason to keep talking if there is no promise for a fruitful resolution.
“At this point the organization has put its best foot forward and (Sandoval’s agents) have decided it’s not to their liking, and we understand that and that’s the reason it needs to be tabled. He needs to concentrate on baseball right now. I think he might be pressing a little bit because it’s in his head one way or the other. But now it’s definitely been shut down at least for the time being. I think he needs to get on with baseball.”
Sandoval has said several times that his impending free agency is not weighing on him, but he spent several minutes during batting practice over the weekend talking with agent Scott Boras behind home plate at Dodger Stadium. Boras often gives solicited advice to players who aren’t his clients. But you can bet they weren’t trading healthy pasta recipes.
Sandoval’s lead agent, Gustavo Vasquez, told me that Sandoval was open to in-season negotiations but if nothing was done by the All-Star break, he’ll go to the open market. Sabean said he wasn’t taking that statement as an absolute.
“I don’t know that that’s true,” Sabean said. “It’s a long year and we are maybe open for talking up the line. For the time being, for as far apart as we are, it makes no sense.”
Sabean said it would be wrong to assume that the Giants won’t revisit contract talks before Sandoval hits free agency, pointing to the deal they completed with Pence at the very end of last season.
“Anything’s possible,” Sabean said. “I just don’t know how probable it is because right now Pablo is pretty much going to have to play to get to the (salary) number that they think he’s going to be able to command on the open market. We disagree that he’s going to get that number, per se, from the Giants on the open market.”