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Rumor Central: Giants still shopping for a third baseman

The San Francisco Giants picked up the contract option on Pablo Sandoval on Monday, but are still in search of an everyday third baseman.

Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports the 31-year-old Sandoval will get a chance to compete for a roster spot because the Giants are on the hook for just $545,000 next season. The Boston Red Sox will pick up the remainder of the approximately $41 million left on the deal.

Sandoval returned to San Francisco last July after 2 1/2 dismal seasons with the Red Sox in which he posted a .237/.286/.360 slash line. Sandoval hit .225 with five homers in 47 games for the Giants.

Giants VP of baseball operations Brian Sabean told reporters that finding a third baseman remains an offseason priority for a team that lost 98 games.

The Royals' Mike Moustakas is the top free-agent third baseman on the market, but is likely out of the Giants' price range since the club has numerous holes to fill and will be reluctant to tie up too much money at one position. Moustakas received a qualifying offer Monday and would also cost San Francisco draft pick compensation as well.

Baggarly suggests one free-agent fit for the Giants could be the Yankees' Todd Frazier, who does not require draft pick compensation since he was traded at midseason.

The Giants used nine different starting third baseman last season, including a team-high 47 starts by Eduardo Nunez before he was traded to Boston.

-- Doug Mittler

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