Sandoval, 27, is due to become a free agent following the upcoming season and stands to earn a large contract as one of the top players available in free agency next year. Teams looking for an impact bat may have little to choose from on the market next year, as only Hanley Ramirez appears to be clearly more desirable than Sandoval.
Neither the Giants nor Sandoval have ruled out the possibility of an extension and both seem willing to negotiate during the regular season, as well. San Francisco may want to see how Sandoval fares out of the gates before risking big money on signing him. Since hitting .330/.387/.556 with a career-high 25 home runs in his first full season in 2009, Sandoval has eclipsed an .800 OPS just once.
There have been questions about his robust figure holding him back from reaching his full potential, but Sandoval has reportedly lost over 30 pounds this winter. If he comes out of the gates hot, it's possible San Francisco might then choose to begin discussing a contract.
Sandoval is slated to make $8.25 million in 2014, the third year of a three-year, $17.15 million contract that bought out his arbitration years. Other top potential free agents next year include Hanley Ramirez and Chase Headley, both of whom have played third base in their careers as well.