The World Series champion Giants went 0-for-2 Tuesday when it came to Pablo Sandoval.
The third baseman, as expected, rejected the Giants' $15.3 million qualifying offer, according to Fox Sports and MLB.com, meaning the team will receive a compensatory first-round draft choice should the free-agent slugger sign with another team. In the two previous years the qualifying offer was available under the current collective bargaining agreement, all 22 players rejected the offer.
For some players, it hurt them in the long run as their free agency lasted much longer into the offseason — and in some cases into the next season. But that should not be the case for the 28-year-old “Panda,” who is one of the most high-profile bats available on the open market. The Giants are the favorite to re-sign the 2012 World Series MVP, but they also have $127 million committed to players in 2015 already, with two spots in the rotation and one in the bullpen and one in the outfield — in addition to third base — to fill. Starters Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong as well as reliever Sergio Romo and left fielder Michael Morse are the other key Giants free agents.
In spring training, Sandoval reportedly rejected a three-year, $40 million contract offer from the Giants, instead hoping to get something better than the five-year, $90 million deal San Francisco gave to right fielder Hunter Pence after last season.
Sandoval earned $8.25 million this season, the final year of a three-year, $17.15 million contract.
Meanwhile, Sandoval did not win a Gold Glove. While Sandoval had a .971 fielding percentage, the NL honor for third basemen went to the Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado, who had a .959 fielding percentage. For the second year in a row, the Gold Glove winners were determined by also factoring in sabermetrics.
The Giants have one more shot at a postseason award as Bruce Bochy on Tuesday was named one of the three finalists for NL Manager of the Year. His competition is Matt Williams of the Washington Nationals and Clint Hurdle of the Pittsburgh Pirates — both teams Bochy and the Giants beat during their World Series run.
However, voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America took place before the playoffs began. That also explains why World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner was not among the three NL Cy Young Award finalists.
Those were Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds and Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals.