Report: Red Sox offer Sandoval

The Boston Red Sox have offered free-agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval a five-year, $95 million contract, the Boston Globe reported Friday night.

The Red Sox have targeted Sandoval since the beginning of free agency. He arrived in Boston on Monday night, had dinner with slugger David Ortiz, and according to a club source, met with team officials Tuesday before leaving the next day.

The San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays also have interest in the 28-year-old switch-hitter, but a major league source indicated to the Globe on Friday that the Red Sox's offer might be in the lead.

Sandoval would represent a significant offensive upgrade at third base for Boston. A career .294 hitter, he hit 16 home runs with 73 RBIs and 68 runs scored this past season for San Francisco.

Sandoval played a huge role in the Giants' 2012 and 2014 World Series title runs, but the team did not discourage him from testing his value on the free-agent market. But they've also stayed involved in the bidding this offseason, with assistant general manager Bobby Evans telling the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday: "I think the interest is sincere. I think Pablo loves this fan base as much as any player loves a fan base, and that could go a long way."

The Red Sox have the financial flexibility under the luxury tax threshold to handle a five-year, $95 million contract. But given the weight issues that have saddled Sandoval since 2010, the club isn't expected to display much enthusiasm for the six-year deal that agent Gustavo Vasquez said his client wants.

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes was used in this report.

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