Earlier this offseason, there was a bit of a controversy regarding the offseason for San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, whom the Giants would have preferred go to Arizona to work out with their training staff.
Instead, Sandoval headed home to Venezuela and the results, if the photo evidence is to be believed, have been outstanding. Sandoval has reportedly lost 42 pounds so far and he sent out a photo via his Instagram account on Wednesday that tells quite a tale:
Sandoval didn’t have a bad season in 2013, hitting .278/.341/.417 with 27 doubles, 14 home runs and 79 RBI. But he did have some durability issues, missing 21 games with various ailments.
That added to the 54 games he missed in 2012 and the 45 he was out in 2011.
He hit 23 homers in that injury-shortened 2011 campaign and followed that up with just 12 in 2012. But in the World Series that year, he joined a very short list—Babe Ruth (twice), Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols—to hit three homers in a single World Series game en route to earning series MVP honors.
Sandoval is in the final year of his contract (he’ll earn $8.25 million in 2014) and will be eligible for free agency next winter.
It begs the question: If he’s slimmed down and can stay healthy and productive, how much is a third baseman who has hit .298/.351/.476 over his first five-plus seasons worth?
Sandoval originally signed with the Giants as an international free agent in 2003 and made his big-league debut in August 2008.