While the Giants have some work to do in order to keep Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain for the long haul, they have at least locked up a key position player through his arbitration seasons.
The Giants just announced that they have agreed to a three-year contract with third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the deal is worth $17.15 million guaranteed and includes some performance-based incentives. He’ll make $3.2 million this season, $5.7 million in 2013 and $8.25 million in 2014.
Sandoval was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter after batting .315/.357/.552 with 23 home runs, 70 RBI and a .909 OPS over 117 games in 2011. The 25-year-old owns a .307/.356/.501 batting line over his first four seasons in the majors. If he can stay in shape and continue to produce similar numbers, he’ll be a tremendous bargain.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.