Giants’ Third Base Options Limited if Pablo Sandoval Leaves


With Pablo Sandoval becoming a free agent and other teams such as the Red Sox showing interest in signing him, the San Francisco Giants must start trying to come up with a back-up plan, if they are unable to re-sign Sandoval.

A huge problem for the Giants, among other teams searching for a third baseman, is that there aren’t many third basemen who are free agents this season. This is going to illuminate the importance of trying to re-sign Sandoval that much more.

One possible option for the Giants is another very sought out free agent: Yasmani Tomas.

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Tomas would be a great signing for the Giants if they’re unable to get Sandoval. Along with third base, Tomas can play the outfield as well, which is another area the Giants could add more depth at this offseason.

Tomas is a power hitter who hits for average as well. In Cuba, Tomas was averaging a home run for every 18 plate appearances, while averagering a .295 batting average over the past three seasons.

This would be a fantasy signing for Giants fans though. Tomas is expected to be asking for the same money as Sandoval ($100 million or more). The Giants would rather spend that kind of money on a player they’ve already developed and that has helped generate three World Series championships rather than an international superstar that hasn’t proved anything yet in the majors. This is just something not in the nature of the Giants or of Brian Sabean to do.

A familiar foe in Chase Headley could be a possible option at third base for the Giants. The Giants know all about Headley from the seven and a half seasons he spent in San Diego being one of those “Giants Killers.”

Headley is a 30 year-old veteran with good pop and excellent defense. This is a player the Giants could serious go after if things fall through with Sandoval. Headley has plenty of experience against the National League, especially the National League West, and has proven he can still hit some home runs in pitcher friendly ballparks (Petco Park and AT&T Park), which is all a huge plus.

Recently, Brian Sabean expressed how he doesn’t see a player from within the Giants organization filling the role as a starting third baseman next season. This comment mostly came about from fans and writers continuously asking if the Giants would move Buster Posey from behind the plate to third base next season.

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  • The move from catcher to third base would allow Posey to be more rested between games and also allow him to have a better chance at staying healthy and prolonging his career. We know that Posey can play the infield, as he primarily played shortstop during his college years, but unfortunately for those hoping to see Posey become the Giants’ new third baseman next season, those dreams will just have to stay dreams because it appears that just isn’t in the plans of Sabean or the Giants right now.

    There are a few guys on the Giants roster that could play third base if it really came down to it though.

    1) Joaquin Arias: The Giants’ utility infielder the past three seasons, who at times does show he can hit well and does have above average defensive abilities.

    2) Chris Dominguez: A utility infielder and outfielder in Triple-A the last two seasons, who did show some potential power after hitting 21 home runs last season for Fresno.

    3) Adam Duvall: A third baseman/first baseman who spent most of the season in Triple-A where he batted .298 with 27 home runs and 90 RBI. He also showed that power in his limited plate appearances for the Giants (73 at-bats) by hitting three home runs and two doubles.

    4) Matt Duffy: Possibly the most likely player on the Giants’ current roster that would win the starting role at third base. Duffy shows the most promising defense and offense of the four mentioned here. Duffy ended the season with a .267 batting average (60 at-bats) and showed he can play anywhere the Giants stick him.

    All in all, the Giants really need to make a huge push to sign Sandoval. Sandoval is an excellent fielder and hitter, and right now it would be impossible to replace the kind of talent Sandoval is at third base and in the lineup. He’s one of those players that it would be hard to imagine wearing anything other than “Giants” across his chest come opening day.