There’s a reason people think sports agents are weasels.
Pablo Sandoval’s agent, Gustavo Vazquez, spoke with the media on Sunday to discuss how far apart Sandoval’s camp is with the Giants concerning a contract extension for the 2012 World Series MVP.
And he sounded like an idiot.
Vazquez said Sandoval’s weight issues are a thing of the past and should not be a factor in contract negotiations.
That’s like a pitcher with chronic elbow problems over the past five years saying his elbow issues are in the past because he hasn’t had a flare up in six months.
Sandoval’s weight has been an issue since he first dawned a XXXL Giants uniform. And it’s gone up and down over the years, mostly up.
Finally, last summer, Sandoval found Jesus, so to speak. Or maybe Jenny Craig.
Starting last summer, he put himself on a diet. Then he spent the offseason getting in shape. And he looks good.
Could it be that someone finally got to him, saying that no team would give him a big contract when he became a free agent after the 2014 season if he didn’t get his weight under control?
Well, we’ve seen this act before. What assurances do we have that once Sandoval’s motivation is taken away in the form of a long, lucrative contract that he won’t return to his chubby ways?
“The weight issues he had before, you’ll never see that again,” Vasquez said. “He will have his trainer with him until he retires.”
Oh, OK. So if the Giants offer Sandoval a five-year contract that includes a clause which would allow the Giants to void the contract if Sandoval’s weight climbs above a certain point, Vazquez would agree to that?
Sure, he would.
Vazquez would have been better off to say that Sandoval is committed to this lifestyle change, the result of which will be a monster season in 2014, just as he heads out to free agency.
Instead, he throws out the ludicrous remark that the Panda’s weight is a non-issue.
It really makes you question anything that comes out of Vazquez’s mouth.
Sandoval’s camp wants the discussion to start in the area of the five-year, $90 million deal the Giants gave to Hunter Pence at the end of the 2013 season.
The Giants countered with a three-year deal worth $40 million. Of course, that’s according to Vazquez.
When I first heard that deal, it didn’t make any sense to me. When you make an offer to a player entering his free agent season, generally the offer needs to be something that knocks off the player’s socks.
Three years at $13.3 million per doesn’t do the trick.
Sandoval is practically guaranteed almost $15 million for the 2015 season. That’s where the qualifying offer likely will be approaching next offseason. As long as Sandoval doesn’t have some big injury this season, the Giants will certainly offer him the qualifying deal.
So I wonder if Vazquez is telling the truth or not.
Perhaps the three-year, $40 million deal is a base deal with a lot of incentive clauses or possibly option years added on, with escalating salaries that kick in if benchmarks are reached.
Here’s one clue that Vazquez wasn’t telling the whole story.
Vazquez said he doubts a deal will be done by opening day saying “I don’t think in 24 hours they’ll jump from three years to five or six.”
No mention of money. Just years. No mention that the Giants “offer” is for $13.3 million per season and the Sandoval camp is looking for a deal in the neighborhood of $18 million a year.
It does make sense that the Giants would offer a shorter deal. It also makes sense for Sandoval’s camp to wait for a five-year deal.
The free agent class of 2015 is pretty lean.
So what happens next? If the two sides don’t agree to a deal by opening day, will they continue to talk during the season. Vazquez didn’t say.
But he did say “I know for sure that after the All-Star break, if nothing happens, then it’s on to free agency.”
In other words, no deal at the end of the season, like the one Pence signed.
But, of course, can you believe anything Vazquez says?