San Francisco Giants: Key Free Agents and Potential Targets

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Third Base

Oct 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval hits a double in the 8th inning against the Kansas City Royals during game seven of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Third base is known around the league as being one of the weakest positions, and this year’s market is no exception. With Aramis Ramirez exercising his option to return to the Milwaukee Brewers, the only real recognizable names on the market are Pablo Sandoval and Chase Headley. Hanley Ramirez is available, but no one really wants to see him in a Giants’ jersey, do they?

1) Pablo Sandoval: Pablo Sandoval is not only the best third baseman on the market, he may be the best offensive player available this offseason. His offense and defense at the hot corner are tremendous, but he is the glue that holds the clubhouse together, as his loose and easygoing nature create a camaraderie that a price can’t really be put on. He is a huge key to the chemistry that made the Giants so good over the past half-decade.

Around the league, he is commonly known as the “best bad-ball hitter” in the game, and that really showed in the postseason. He had hits on pitches that nearly bounced, pitches up around chin-level, and pitches a foot off the plate. His defense caught up to his offense this season, as he showed great range and a rocket arm that made him a Gold Glove finalist.

Before the season, the Panda asked for a contract worth over $100 million. It’s unclear if he will get that much. He’s only 28 years old, and he will most likely garner a long-term deal, which may take him into his best season.

2) Chase Headley: After the Panda, there is a steep drop at free agent third basemen. Headley is a former Silver Slugger and Gold Glover award winner, but his offense has dropped off pretty considerably since his career year in 2012, when he hit 31 homers and drove in 115 runs.

In 2014, which he split between the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees, he hit only .243 with 49 RBI’s in 135 games.

Like Sandoval, Headley is a switch-hitter who plays great defense, and is only 30 years old. If the Giants are unable to bring back the beloved Panda, Headley is the next best option.