Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 1/18/12
Picimg_mlb_apr_21_44a3

Tuesday was the last day that teams could announce the amount of money they would want to offer their arbitration-eligible players, but it was the San Francisco Giants who ended up making a move that would allow them to not have to worry about what to do with one of their stars on offense. They inked third baseman and crowd favorite Pablo Sandoval to a three year, $17.15 million deal, effectively signing the not as portly Kung Fu Panda through the rest of his arbitration years before he becomes a free agent for the 2015 season.

After a break out performance during his first full season in the majors back in 2009, Sandoval took a major step back in 2010 thanks to weight issues and poor performance, an odd dichotomy considering the team went on to win the World Series. The Giants had hoped that Sandoval would come back with a vengeance in 2011, and thanks to an offseason workout regimen that saw him lose 40 pounds, Sandoval was in the best shape of his young career and ended up having a season that saw him amongst the best third basemen in baseball.

His triple slash of .315/.357/.552 was very impressive, and matched up pretty well to his .330/.387/.556 line in his breakout season of '09 in 36 less games. But what was even more impressive than that was his defense, as his slimmed down body allowed him to man down the hot corner to a 12.3 Ultimate Zone Rating, behind only Placido Polanco's 14.0 for the best rating amongst all third basemen in the MLB. DRS agreed, with a staggering +22 mark, which was tied with Brett Gardner and Austin Jackson for the best mark at any position in the league.

His salary breakdown is as follows: $3.2 million in 2012, $5.7 million in 2013 and $8.25 million in 2014. Considering he's been worth 14 fWAR in his three seasons (which included his down 2010), this is a steal for the Giants, as Panda will most likely outperform the value of his entire contract in 2012 alone if he continues to stay healthy both in body and in games played. His improvement in 2011 along with the return of Buster Posey to the Giants lineup should prove to boost the Giants offense in the middle of that order.

The extension of Sandoval does call to mind the other major arbitration case the Giants have this year: Tim Lincecum has announced that he wants $21 million in arbitration while the Giants are willing to give $17.5 million. If the case goes to a hearing, Lincecum will most likely win his case and it will become the largest amount of money ever given in arbitration to a single player in the history of the process. Later on this week, I will take a closer look at the value of Lincecum going forward for the Giants, as the contract he is eventually given will set the salary structure for the team going forward and will also have a major effect on both his arbitration status for 2013 and his free agency that will begin in 2014.

[follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Raptors signing Carroll is shrewdest move of free agency

Report: Los Angeles Clippers will sign Paul Pierce

With Kevin Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Aldridge crosses Lakers off list, did not mesh well with Kobe

Jerry Dipoto officially steps down as Angels GM

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rajon Rondo wants 'all of' Kings' $10M cap space

Reports: Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson returning to Cavs

Dwyane Wade, Heat reportedly progressing in contract talks

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Brandon Spikes sentenced to one year probation in crash

Report: Leafs trade Kessel to Penguins in multi-player deal

Cavaliers re-sign Iman Shumpert to four-year contract

Mike Green is joining the Red Wings on a three-year deal

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans until 2020

ESPN denies censoring Keith Olbermann commentary

The best and worst MLB players in the month of June

Report: Lakers didn’t make strong impression on Aldridge

Danny Green takes the Andre Iguodala path

DeSean Jackson rips Eagles in new reality TV show

Deciding what the All-Star Game really means

Being a Dallas Cowboys fan could cost Chris Christie votes

Winning and losing the strike zone game: Midseason update

Baltimore Orioles keep finding a way to win

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.