SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Giants are planning their offseason around efforts to re-sign Pablo Sandoval.

General manager Brian Sabean and his staff have told free-agent starting pitchers Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong that the World Series champions need time to try to strike a deal with Sandoval before turning their attention to the mound. The Giants made a $15.3 million qualifying offer that the switch-hitting third baseman won’t accept by Monday’s deadline.

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Giants CEO Larry Baer says his team’s payroll will go up from $164.7 million — sixth-highest in the majors — and the club will do what it can to keep Sandoval, the 2012 World Series MVP and a fan favorite nicknamed the Kung Fu Panda.

The Boston Red Sox are believed to be among the top suitors for Sandoval. Red Sox fan blog Over The Monster (SB Nation) reported Boston reached out to Sandoval this week to express their interest.

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In the 2014 postseason, the 28-year-old Sandoval batted .279 with 16 homers and 73 RBIs in 157 regular-season games and .366 in the postseason with seven doubles and five RBIs, including four during a seven-game World Series win against Kansas City.

 

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