THE San Francisco Giants Blog

Putting the Breaks on the Panda Train

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on November 20, 2014

If the Giants don’t make the post season in 2014, would everyone still be gaga over The Panda? If you say you’re paying for what he’s going to do in the post season, I wouldn’t (and really couldn’t) argue with that line of reasoning. But Pablo didn’t have a very good year in 2014–and with it being his contract year as well as coming into the season with the body of a taut, pre teen Swedish boy (credit: Kramer from Seinfeld) you would expect he would have a monster year. But he didn’t.

Pretty much all of his statistics were his worst since 2010.

And yet teams are tripping over themselves to give him 100+ million dollars.

So I ask again, if the Giants don’t make the post season in 2014, what type of contract would the Panda be getting offered? Three years/40 mil still sounds about right.

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  1. zumiee said, on November 20, 2014 at 9:12 am

    I see your point, BF, but it’s pretty hard to set aside the playoff performance. The Giants, during the ‘3 in 5,’ have been a team built more for the playoffs than the regular season. The Giants grind their way through a regular season, win a lot of torturous games, claw their way into a playoff spot, and then have the strong pitching and overall mentally-tough players to make a deep run in the playoffs. Is Panda more focused in the playoffs? Who knows? But he’s got the right stuff for the playoffs. I LOVE his quote at the beginning of the World Series. A national media reporter asked him if he was nervous, and Pablo said: “Why should I be nervous? This is my third one.” I mean, that quote is basically Joe Montana-esque, in spirit. Some players are able to play the game well and have fun on the biggest stage, and we marvel at it. And the 3-in-5 Giants have had a bunch of those.
    Sure, the money is a factor. I still think 5 years/90 million for Pablo is OK. Boston might go 6 years/100-110 million, and they can have him, and DH him the last couple of seasons.

    • FanSince59 said, on November 20, 2014 at 9:39 am

      In order to stay on top, a team has to systematically retool. They have begun to do that with Joe Panik and others. I can’t see selling the farm for Panda, because it would likely have long-lasting effects on the team’s ability to upgrade as necessary over the next year or two (think starting pitching here). That would be different if the ownership group were a bit less tight with their spending, but by all accounts that is not the situation. So Sabean should, IMO, make Sandoval a reasonable offer ( $90m for 5, and even that is more than I think he is worth) and if he does not take it, move on and begin to retool.

    • James said, on November 20, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Really, his second WS. And The Magic Pagan only 1. The strongest link among all 3 WS is the bullpen. The BP has also been excellent during the 2 in 5 years.

      • zumiee said, on November 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm

        I said “strong pitching.” That included the bullpen. The bullpen, with rare exception, has been lights-out in the playoffs during the dynasty run.

      • James said, on November 20, 2014 at 2:23 pm

        I was referring to the continuity and impact of specific players — Casilla, Lopez, Romo, and Affeldt — across all 3 WS teams. Bumgarner is the only SP. The mention of Pagan and the BP was mostly an add on, not a critique of your post.

  2. zumiee said, on November 20, 2014 at 9:35 am

    In a major victory for workers’ rights:
    “The major league minimum salary will likely rise in 2015 to $507,500, a 1.5-percent increase over the $500,000 minimum salary in 2014. Major League Baseball has not yet made the announcement official.
    The collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and the Players Association, which covers the years 2012-2016, called for minimum salaries of $480,000 in 2012, $490,000 in 2013 and $500,000 in 2014. For the final two years of the CBA calls for a cost of living increase, using the Consumer Price Index.”

    • Chipower9 said, on November 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Right on. It would be a bitch if those guys had to live on only 480K a year.

  3. Bozo said, on November 20, 2014 at 9:42 am

    It was a strange year for Pablo. Average wise, it was a bad April and September the other months he hit .300+. Six HRs in May and just ten the rest of the season. He never really got on track batting RHed. On the other side, he has become a solid third baseman IMO. And, I do think an argument could be made that when Pablo is hot we tend to win more and it is probably just more noticeable during the Post Season than it is in May.

    I would agree to however many years Pablo wants, but, and this is huge, I would not allow a “no trade” clause in the contract (I would want this over any weight clause). As long as the dude can hit an AL team would trade for him.

    • Chipower9 said, on November 20, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      I agree John. A couple of weeks ago I suggested that they have Pence approach Pablo and present him with the same contract Pence got 5/90), SANS the no-trade clause that Pence got.

  4. dirtnrocksnomo said, on November 20, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I think Sandoval is an important part of the club but the longer this drags out the more players that can help in 2015 come off the board regardless of whether or not he comes back. If the Giants and Red Sox have made their offers I don’t imagine many other teams coming over the top. Dude needs to shit or get off the pot.

    • Chipower9 said, on November 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      I agree Micah. And what the hell do you believe in the media re: Pablo (rhetorical question). But I did read that he had left Boston today without a contract offer, but that the offer was forthcoming. If true, then the dude will need some time to consider his options. But I agree…it has to come down to SF, Boston, and possibly Toronto, and it needs to be done with ASAP.

  5. Alleykat said, on November 20, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Who the hell is Panda’s Agent?
    The Dumb&Dumber team of Jim Carrey&Jeff Daniels.
    I heard a quote from him on the e95.7 the game last week and he was saying Pablo has been with the Giants since he was 16 in the org(which is true) and he will stay here and be a Giant.
    This was before he was heading out to Boston to talk with them.
    Now I ask, WTF stupid agent would say that during F/A times for his client before all offers are on the table?

  6. zumiee said, on November 20, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    LaRussa on the MLB Network this morning, in giving praise to Selig, said (and how LaRussa could even say this with a straight face is laughable)….
    “Selig was great at identifying problems and dealing with them.”
    Go away, Selig, Mr. Commissioner of the Steroid Era.
    And LaRussa, former manager of the Bash Brothers, enjoy a bunch of losing seasons with the D-Backs.

  7. dirtnrocksnomo said, on November 20, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    If MLBTR is to be believed, clubs aren’t tripping over themselves to make an offer. Red Sox and Blue Jays still haven’t. Maybe they’ve totally misread this whole thing.

  8. twinfan1 said, on November 20, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    The team had made a priority of signing Panda well before the postseason. I’m sure that was predicated by the fact that there are really no desirable options in the system and Headley wouldn’t come cheap either, especially if Pablo signed somewhere first. That is what they’d face now- if Pablo goes elsewhere, Headley would command a pretty penny. If I’m the GM, I’d make the 5/90 offer and if that doesn’t fly I get to work on the best LFer and starting pitcher that 25 million will buy. That leaves 5 million or so for a relief pitcher. Third base? They might have to bite the bullet with some combination of a minor league invitee, Duvall, Duffy and Arias.
    IMO.

    • Chipower9 said, on November 20, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      I like that Plan B better than throwing a ton of coin at Headley. Did you get that call from Bobby Evans yet, Mike?

      • twinfan1 said, on November 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm

        Anybody up for bringing Melky back? And Ervin Santana ? Might be able to get both for total 26 to 28 million per year. 4 years each. That’s if Pablo leaves. Might not be room for a Romo replacement. Gulp- Stricknine? Cody Hall?

      • zumiee said, on November 20, 2014 at 5:15 pm

        I’d say no on Melky, and yes on Santana.

      • twinfan1 said, on November 21, 2014 at 8:38 am

        I was more testing the waters here than recommending Melky- I’m not real sure how he’d be greeted by the guys. Not well, I’d guess. LF is as big a problem as 3rd base. Sabes has work to do or they face a big time downgrade at 2 positions. Belt to LF and Posey to first would downgrade 3 positions defensively and one offensively. IMO.

  9. Chipower9 said, on November 20, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Only 92 days until pitchers and catchers report…

  10. Irish Kevin said, on November 20, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Panda, Panda, where will he land. I don’t remember what I was listening to KNBR/ESPN whatever. They were wondering if the Giants do sign Pablo or whoever signs him, would they ask him to bat strictly left handed. I remember the Giants getting JT Snow to quit switch hitting. I think Pablo would do just fine batting Left only.

  11. Bozo said, on November 20, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    If we didn’t have Arias signed for next year, I’d go for local kid Casey McGehee for insurance.

    • Flavor said, on November 20, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      That could be your starting 3rd baseman if Panda bails

    • blade3colorado said, on November 20, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Thinking the same thing John. I had McGehee the entire season on both FL teams (I won) and he was nails. Actually, had Arenado starting on one team before he was injured midseason and McGehee filled in admirably. Doesn’t hit many HRs, but nevertheless he was an RBI machine when put in RISP situaions. I like him. He only dipped below .300 once during the season – very consistent.

    • DJLoo said, on November 20, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      Some genius had that idea years ago when Panda had one of his hamate problems….

      DJLoo said, on May 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      I would ring up the Pirates and inquire about Casey McGehee
      ———————————————————————————————————-
      DJLoo said, on May 3, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      McGehee (29) is one year removed from a huge 2010, doesn’t play regularly, doesn’t make big money and he’s from Santa Cruz to boot. He could fill in for Panda at 3rd and at least platoon at first afterwards. Also a solid bat off the bench and a DH when needed. He’s perfect for us. Wonder what it would take…

      • twinfan1 said, on November 21, 2014 at 8:24 am

        He’s not a free agent, is he? And he’s 3rd year arb and making 4 now. 6 or 7 plus a couple good prospects gets it done- for a guy whose 2014 looks to be to the outlier more than his 2011, 2012, and 2013… he’s on a such downward power trend that he’s due to hit *minus* 4 HRs in 2015..

    • Bozo said, on November 21, 2014 at 4:42 am

      OK, I’m late to the party on McGhee. A mil or two gets it done and Casey would get to eat home cooking.

      • DJLoo said, on November 21, 2014 at 7:26 am

        I was mocked for it, Bozo!

      • Bozo said, on November 21, 2014 at 11:39 am

        Loo, Having a clown agree with you now, might not help with being mocked a couple of years ago. Actually, it probably never helps, but count me in.

      • DJLoo said, on November 21, 2014 at 11:59 am

        Plus it would be kinda neat having a guy hit minus homers!
        And we don’t care what happens in odd numbered years anyway…

      • Bozo said, on November 21, 2014 at 12:41 pm

        So if he’s projected to hit minus HRs, is it a productive year if he doesn’t hit any?
        Miami had him for 1.1 mil last year (not counting his incentive clauses), but since he’s Mr. Comeback Player of the Year he might be looking for a raise. Still, it is an odd year after all.

  12. gianthead said, on November 20, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I still think there was a need at 3B for the Red Sox regardless of what happened in 2014. The starting point was going to be $75 mill and 5 years regardless. The Padres may have gone 3 years and $40 mill.

    I think if Panda does not say yest to the Red Sox by the weekend then he will be back. I am frankly surprised the Dodgers did not play around with Panda to try and drive his price up.

    • salty said, on November 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      Think they have plenty problems of their own. .;)

  13. twinfan1 said, on November 20, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Heyman now reporting that The Padres have emerged as *serious* suitors for Pablo.

    http://tinyurl.com/of7u527

    • zumiee said, on November 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      The article suggests the Giants might make a try at Yasmany Tomas, if they can’t sign Sandoval. That could solve leftfield, maybe. And at what price? I think the Giants would balk at anything over 4 or 5 years/60 million or so, and that’s probably not enough to get him. The Cuban players are a gamble, but some have made the transition very well.

      • Flavor said, on November 20, 2014 at 5:51 pm

        I’m all in on signing the Cuban guys. Pretty soon that well will dry up but it hasn’t yet. And those guys come major league ready so there’s no waiting around for them to marinate in the minor leagues…..

      • zumiee said, on November 20, 2014 at 5:55 pm

        Ah, I didn’t see your post. I posted something similar below.

  14. zumiee said, on November 20, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Daniel Carbonell, by contrast, was signed by the Giants to a small contract, 4 years/1.4 million. He’s about 4 years younger than Tomas, and is not nearly as MLB ready as Tomas supposedly is.
    The Cuban baseball player craze is like the British band invasion in the ’60s. The MLB teams are like the record companies, hoping to swoop in and sign another Beatles or Stones or Clapton or whoever.

    • Flavor said, on November 20, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      the Giants can’t dime store shop for these Cubans. Christ, most of them are not mlb quality. Pay the guys who ARE. 4 years/1.4 mil? This guy is nothing, that was a waste of money.

      • snarkk said, on November 20, 2014 at 9:28 pm

        Thank you. This guy will probably take out a long term lease in Fresno. He can’t be that good if he only cost $1.4M. I think I said that right after they announced signing him…

    • willedav said, on November 20, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Well. sometimes you wind up with Gerry and the Pacemakers.
      F-G had a column wondering if Cespedes has already peaked; I read it and sentiment seemed to be he had more fantasy ball worth than real baseball worth.

      If you have $50-60 mil to throw around, I’d rather get a known quantity SP than a guy who turns into the next Dayan Viciedo or Barbaro Garbey.

      • gianthead said, on November 20, 2014 at 8:11 pm

        The positive though of Cespedes if you can trade for him is just a one year $10 mill contract. Don’t think landing him will take more than a couple mid-level pitching prospects and we are loaded there with those type of minor league pitchers.

        Tomas will be an $80-$90 question mark…

      • Flavor said, on November 20, 2014 at 8:11 pm

        Cespedes is a beast. It’s just a question of his focus. What does he care about? HR Derby’s? Or winning?

  15. willedav said, on November 20, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Raiders win! Carr throws late TD pass and picks up first career W and first for Oaktown in forever.
    Alex smith 0 for bay area 2014.

    • snarkk said, on November 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      Raiders finally won a game, after losing 16 in a row, or some such. Papa on the radio was positively gushing, like they won AFC champ game. The Raiduhs are a joke, worse than the Niners under Sing…

      • willedav said, on November 21, 2014 at 7:13 am

        Sure, but that wasn’t Jacksonville they beat last night.
        Funny thing is the guy in the Chron (Tafur) called it Wed as perfect trap game, saying Chiefs are just off big W vs. seachickens and looking ahead to hosting Denver next week.
        Alex Smith, with game on the line and ball in his hands…

      • DJLoo said, on November 21, 2014 at 7:32 am

        Also national TV, a bitter rivalry regardless of the team’s records, and just a 3 day break after knocking off the SB champs. It was such a perfect “trap” game that as a KC fan I was hoping the blatant obviousness of it would somehow counteract it.

    • twinfan1 said, on November 21, 2014 at 8:07 am

      What’s your deal? With Smith. He didn’t lose that game. There’s no way the KC defense should allow that last drive by the Raid-duhs. And there were three balls that should have ben caught on KC’s final drive-Hammond was walking around like he was under anesthetic on the last pass. And the Raiders were psyched and played a good game. lots of reasons the Chiefs lost last night-Smith wasn’t one of them.

      • twinfan1 said, on November 21, 2014 at 8:27 am

        That was for Willie. For some reason he’s still trashing a good QB even after the guy has left.

      • twinfan1 said, on November 21, 2014 at 8:43 am

        Today is our Thanksgiving, Have a good day, I’m going to start the peach upside down cake and the cranberry sauce. And try to convince Harbaugh that maybe he might ditch the deep fade next time they need a crucial score…

      • willedav said, on November 21, 2014 at 8:52 am

        . When Kaep screws up and doesn’t get the job done you have no problem thrashing him—Alex gets 5 sentences of excuses.
        QB has ball in his hands with chance to win game—fair or not it’s ultimately on him. He does it, it’s “The Drive”–he doesn’t, it’s the L.

  16. zumiee said, on November 21, 2014 at 9:24 am

    On the MLB “Hot Stove” show this morning, there was a poignant moment in an otherwise relatively boring interview with Zack Wheeler. He was asked what his feelings are when he sees the Giants win the World Series, and he said something like: “I’m only human. I can’t help but feel a little bitterness. I could have been there. But those are a bunch of great guys, and I’m happy for them.” He then went on to talk very up-beat about the Mets’ future. He’s excited about the starting pitching rotation they’ve assembled. He feels like the team can make a playoff run this season. That seems a stretch to me, but the Mets do seem to slowly be getting their act together. They took a hit with the Bernie Madoff thing affecting their ownerships’ money, but they seem to be finally getting a little momentum back. Maybe.

    • DJLoo said, on November 21, 2014 at 10:03 am

      I’d take him back with David Wright for Matt Cain and let Pablo go.
      Wright could rebound with a change of scenery and it would give our rotation a badly needed injection of youth.
      The poor Mets would save $40 million for themselves and get a great veteran SP to preside over their many young arms.

      • zumiee said, on November 21, 2014 at 10:31 am

        It fits the Sabean paradigm of bringing in a vet hungry to revamp his career and get to a World Series.
        But it’s hard to see the Giants trading Cain. That doesn’t seem like the Giants’ style.

  17. zumiee said, on November 21, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Once in a while, I buy a copy of “USA Today Sports,” that newsletter-ish sports mag sold in grocery stores and quickie marts. The latest issue is packed with early baseball preview stuff. They have their list of the current top 25 minor league prospects. No Giants on the list; Panik and Susac were busy helping the Giants win a World Series. 🙂
    1. Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs
    2. Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers
    3. Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers
    4. Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox
    5. Carlos Rodon, LHP, White Sox
    6. Byron Buxton, OF, Twins
    7. Carlos Correa, SS, Astros
    8. Addison Russell, SS, Cubs
    9. Steven Maltz, LHP, Mets
    10. Kyle Schwarber, C, Cubs
    11. Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers
    12. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nats
    13. Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cards
    14. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates
    15. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets
    16. Jorge Soler, OF, Cubs
    17. Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers
    18. D.J. Peterson, 3B, Mariners
    19. Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
    20. Jon Gray, RHP, Rockies
    21. Ryan O’Hearn, 1B, Royals
    22. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles
    23. Archie Bradley, RHP, D-Backs
    24. Josh Bell, OF, Pirates
    25. Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins

    • zumiee said, on November 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

      #3, Joc Pederson, couldn’t be more blocked. The Dodgers already have the “big 4” in their outfield, plus Van Slyke, who they like for his pop off the bench. I’m sure their new front office is aggressively trying to deal Ethier and/or Crawford to somebody. Maybe even Kemp. It just seems like a blockbuster Dodger trade is coming sometime in the next month or two. They can’t possibly start next season with their dysfunctional outfield situation again, I would think. But whoever they trade with, the Dodgers will be eating a huge percentage of the contracts. Whoever takes Ethier isn’t going to want to pay all that much for him.
      One of our favorite stats from last season:
      Home runs:
      Ethier- 4
      Bumgarner- 4

  18. Chipower9 said, on November 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Back to Michael’s comment on Melky. I sure as hell would love to have an OFer with his numbers from last year:

    .301 .351 .458 .808 with 16 bombs and 73 RBIs (HRs and RBIs match Panda’s), but all of his other stats (avg, obp, slg, and OPS) beat both Pence and Pablo.

    But, if the story that he never apologized to Giant management or the team is true, no way in hell I see the Giants pulling the string on that.

    • DJLoo said, on November 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      Apologies are overrated, Chi.
      Most people aren’t sorry for what they did, they’re just sorry they got caught.
      In a way, he deserves credit for not making a phony apology.

  19. Chipower9 said, on November 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Only 90 days until pitchers and catchers report.

  20. Bozo said, on November 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Don’t know if this was mentioned yesterday, but the Giants added pitchers Derek Law, Ray Black, Cody Hall and Joan Gregorio to their 40 man to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.

    To make room for the new additions, the Giants designated reliever Juan Gutierrez for assignment.

    • zumiee said, on November 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Guitierrez faded in the second half of the season, and it became a pain in the neck to watch him pitch, because of how much time he takes between pitches. Kruk and Kuip started to gripe about it during broadcasts. No one cared about the wandering behind the mound when he was pitching well, but when he started to fail a lot, then it became really annoying.

  21. Alleykat said, on November 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Agree Z, about Gutiterez..
    I could slam a few beers, take a leak,start dinner before he would chuck a pitch. He makes the original “Human Rain Delay” Mike Hargrove seem tame in comparison..

  22. Chipower9 said, on November 21, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I heard on KNBR during lunch that Pablo and crew have received 5/90 offers from Boston, SF and Dago. Hard to believe that all three teams would pony-up identical offers, so I doubt that is the case. I had also heard yesterday that camp Panda wants to have this decided before Thanksgiving…

    Giddy the fuck up and let’s see it…

    • DJLoo said, on November 21, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      I agree that’s hard to believe, Chi. If it’s true, I bet someone just swoops in and gives him 6/110 or something like that…

      • zumiee said, on November 21, 2014 at 3:26 pm

        On the Hot Stove show, they were pretty negative about the Padres going after Panda. They talked about how it doesn’t make sense for a team that’s rebuilding to make a big money free agent acquisition. Even with Pablo, the Padres would still be a few years from contending for the division. One of the hosts just thought it was the Padres wanting to get their name in the newspaper, and be part of the buzz.

  23. charliebay5 said, on November 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    This is awesome . . .

    • zumiee said, on November 21, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Still basking!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • zumiee said, on November 21, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      There’s an incredible moment, right as Ishi hits the ball, the stadium goes kind of quiet for just a split second as the crowd sees the bat hit the ball, and then the celebration begins!

    • Bozo said, on November 21, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Love this view. Wow.

      • Bozo said, on November 21, 2014 at 7:59 pm

        This one splices in some of that footage to get a montage of that game.

  24. Flavor said, on November 21, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    that video is incredible

  25. Macdog said, on November 21, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Sounds like Red Sox have offered Sandoval 5 years/$95M.

  26. paulinasia said, on November 21, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Watching those videos just…. never…. gets… old…..

  27. sportdude said, on November 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Priceless moments. The very faint “oh my god” to the replica of my house with my wife and son after the homer jumping around!!! Thanks Bozo…

  28. snarkk said, on November 21, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Ishi’s homer will live on in the Giants’ fans memory as long as there is a Giants team.
    Great videos. That moment was enough for me for the season. But, then they gave me way more…


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