Pablo_SandovalAfter spending 2 days in Boston, free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval took off from Logan Airport on Wednesday without a contract offer from the Red Sox. While a big name free agent leaving Boston without signing or receiving an offer is atypical of the current ownership group, the book isn’t closed on Sandoval in Boston. In fact, a Wednesday report out of San Francisco suggested that the Red Sox have emerged as the overwhelming favorites to sign the 28-year old. A trip back to San Francisco seems to be the next step for Sandoval and his representatives, as they will give the Giants the last word in the negotiations process. While Sandoval’s market seems to be down to just the Red Sox and Giants — with the Padres and White Sox as outside possibilities too — on Wednesday we learned that the Blue Jays could be a team lying in the weeds on the Sandoval sweepstakes. Where the Venezuela native ultimately decides to sign could be contingent upon who will give him a six year contract offer. In the past, Sandoval’s camp admitted that they were more focused on the length of a contract, than the annual average value of a potential deal. At last check, Boston was still “preparing an offer” to extend to Sandoval, which could meet the years and money requirement that Sandoval’s agents described.

  • It wasn’t the splashy move that most Red Sox fans were anticipating, but the team did make an acquisition on Wednesday. Boston claimed corner infielder Juan Francisco off waivers from the Blue Jays, in an effort to add some much needed pop to their bench. The 27-year old has bounced around the league since joining the Cincinatti Reds back in 2009, making stops in four different cities. In 106 games with the Blue Jays last season, Francisco batted just .220 with a .291 on-base percentage. However, he did manage to collect 16 home runs in just 287 at-bats. (Red Sox claim Juan Francisco off waivers from Toronto Blue Jays)
  • While Pablo Sandoval looks to be the Red Sox first option at third base, he’s hardly their only option at the position. Free agent infielder Hanley Ramirez also fits the bill at third base, and would bring loads of power to the line up. However, there are plenty of reasons to justify Boston prioritizing Sandoval over Ramirez so far this offseason. The 28-year old Sandoval is three years younger than Ramirez, has a cleaner bill of health, and plays better defense. For lack of a better term, Sandoval’s game is more well-rounded than Ramirez. (Why not Hanley? Why Red Sox are targeting Pablo Sandoval over Hanley Ramirez)
  • Oddly enough, ever since the Red Sox drafted Cody Kukuk in the seventh round of the 2011 draft, the 20-year old can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Yesterday, authorities in Long Beach, California arrested Kukuk for his involvement in a November 8th home invasion and robbery. This incident marks Kukuk’s second run-in with the law since Boston drafted the left-hander out of high school. (Red Sox minor leaguer Cody Kukuk arrested for robbery)
  • The Red Sox recent 6 year, $120M offer to Jon Lester won’t be enough to stop the southpaw from talking to other clubs, but it is a good starting point for future negotiations. By offering 6 years, Boston at least shows that they’re willing to be competitive, and they’re not just kicking tires. While the team will probably need to up the money side of their offer, the high annual average value of their current proposal is negotiable. (Are the Red Sox lowballing Jon Lester again?)
  • Tweet of the day: “Aggressive offer” is up for interpretation