Maybe not. But Hank Schulman says that the Panda is on his way there:
Yes, yes, yes. You’ve heard this before. You’re skeptical, and you should be, until you see what he looks like in spring training.
Nevertheless, I’ve heard from a number of folks that Pablo Sandoval’s conditioning work at a private facility in Arizona is paying dividends … [Rich] Aurilia lives in Phoenix and told me today he saw Pablo at a shopping mall just before Christmas. Sandoval told him he had lost 17 pounds.
So it’s second hand. And given that it was a self-estimate, it was probably overstated (has anyone who has ever had a hint of a weight problem ever done anything different?) And even it was 17 pounds, given where Sandoval was, ten pounds of it was probably just water weight bloat.
Forgive me if I’m not being terribly charitable to Sandoval here. But given how much weight he put on last year and how unsuccessful his weight-loss program was last offseason, I’m skeptical.
Yesterday free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki held a workout in California and representatives from at least eleven teams were on hand, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo. Among the clubs present: the Giants — who were said to have a “heavy presence,” including team president Farhan Zaidi and manager Bruce Bochy — the Angels, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres, White Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers and Pirates.
Your first reaction to that may be “Um, really? For Tulowitzki?” But a moment’s reflection makes it seem more sensible. We’re so tied up in thinking of a player through the filter of their contract and, when we’ve done that with Tulowitzki over the past several years, it has made him seem like an albatross given the $20 million+ a year he was earning to either not play or play rather poorly due to injuries.
It was just the contract that was the albatross, though, right? An almost free Tulowitzki — which he will be given that the Blue Jays are paying him $38 million over the next two seasons — is a different matter. If you sign him it’ll be for almost no real money and he stands a chance to be an average or maybe better-than-average shortstop, which is pretty darn valuable. You might even get one quirky late career return-to-near-glory season from him, in which case you’ve hit the lottery. If, however, as seems more likely, he just can’t get it done at all, you’re not out anything and you can cut him with little or no pain.
Eleven teams think he’s at least a look-see. I bet one of them will offer him a major league deal. Maybe more than one. He’ll probably have his pick of non-roster invites to spring training. I can’t see the downside to at least doing that much.