Many players set an Opening Day deadline for offseason contract talks, choosing not to continue negotiating once the season begins, but Pablo Sandoval is apparently willing to keep chatting with the Giants.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that Sandoval initially wanted to join the Opening Day-or-nothing crowd, but is now “open to resuming talks” and “gave clearance to his agent, Gustavo Vaszquez, to remain open.”
Sandoval reportedly turned down a three-year, $40 million offer recently and Baggarly says the Giants haven’t come back with an improved offer yet, so it’s possible his willingness to continue negotiating during the season won’t even come into play.
Sandoval is an impending free agent at age 27 and lost a bunch of weight during the offseason in an effort to improve his range at third base and stay healthier, so there’s seemingly not much incentive for him to accept a three-year offer.
Announcement: HardballTalk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Thursday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.