Pablo Sandoval extension: Giants 3B looking for Hunter Pence-type deal

San Francisco plans to hold off on extension talks for now, but they could resume negotiations before Sandoval becomes a free agent after the season.

The Giants remain hopeful that they will be able to extend third baseman Pablo Sandoval despite the fact that he's asking for a deal worth "at least" the same amount as the five-year, $90 million deal the team gave outfielder Hunter Pence.

The length of such a deal could be a concern for the Giants, as the SFGate's Henry Schulman reports.

Sandoval has consistently dealt with weight issues during his Major League career.

A five-year commitment would be "an awfully high starting point" for extension talks, according to Schulman.

It's unclear whether the two sides will negotiate during the season, but the team expects to meet with Sandoval's representatives sometime after Opening Day. If Sandoval opts to enter free agency, he'll be one of the more notable players available next winter.

In five-plus seasons with the Giants Sandoval has hit .298/.351/.476 in 712 games. He missed considerable time in 2011 and 2012, playing just 225 games combined, but he returned to relative sturdiness last season, missing just 21 games.

The Giants don't have a clear-cut replacement in their farm system. Ehire Adrianza has had a nice spring, and infield prospect Joe Panik is close to the majors, but retaining Sandoval might be the Giants' best course of action at this point.

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