Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants are not expected to re-sign Pablo Sandoval before he hits the free agent market at midnight tonight.
Not surprising. Heck, the Giants and Sandoval are still picking confetti out of their hair from Friday’s parade and the period during with teams have exclusive rights to negotiate with free agents is vanishingly small these days. Rosenthal reports, however, that the Giants remain the favorites to sign Sandoval to a long term deal, even though other teams have a shot at him starting tomorrow.
Sandoval hit .279/.324/.415 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI during the regular season, and of course, kicked butt in the postseason once again. More significantly is the fact that the Giants have rarely let key free agents leave in recent years, so it would be quite surprising if Sandoval were to go elsewhere.
The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.
After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.
Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.
Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:
In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?