The Red Sox are looking to add a heavy hitter to the lineup for 2015. As any baseball fan knows, they don’t get much heavier than Pablo Sandoval.

Sandoval, the beloved Kung Fu Panda of the world champion San Francisco Giants, is 5-foot-11, 245 pounds. He has long dealt with questions about his weight, questions that will be asked loudly by fans of any team looking at him as a free-agent addition.

He has also proven to be a big-game performer. He is a career .426 hitter with a 1.162 OPS in the World Series, and was a member of the Giants’ championship teams of 2010, 2012 and 2014. He was the MVP of the 2012 World Series, when he hit .500 with a ridiculous 1.654 OPS. He has played in 10 playoff series in his six-plus seasons – the type of experience the Sox covet to complement their young players.

It wouldn’t be easy to pry the Panda away from the Bay Area. He is arguably the most popular player on a team that is coming off its third title in five seasons. Fans wear oversized Panda heads to games. And there’s no question the Giants want him back for 2015.

The question is: do they want him back for 2020? It’s likely the third baseman will land a contract worth some $100 million over six years. The Red Sox have made it clear they don’t like to hand out those type of long-term deals for players in their 30s, but Sandoval is only 28 years old. The Sox would theoretically be willing to lock him up for a deal that long.

Boston has one advantage over San Francisco. The Red Sox play in the American League. They could slot the Panda in as a designated hitter over the final seasons of his career, a potential replacement for David Ortiz that could ease the dismay Sox fans will feel when Big Papi retires.

Until then, they could feature a lineup with both Ortiz and Sandoval in the middle of it. That’s a 475-pound heart of the order.

The Sox hope the presence of Ortiz would have a positive effect on Sandoval if he came to Boston. Ortiz, who turns 39 on Tuesday, became much more serious about taking care of himself in his 30s. The fitness lessons he learned along the way could be passed onto Sandoval.

Otherwise, there is real concern that Sandoval could become a mini-Mo Vaughn, who won the MVP for the Red Sox in 1995.

He finished in the Top 5 for the award two more times before signing with the Angels as a free agent in 1999. As Vaughn got bigger, his numbers got smaller. Leaving Boston with a career .304 batting average, Vaughn never again hit .300. He missed all of 2001 with an injury and played only 166 more games over the next two seasons.

It’s a cautionary tale that the Sox will have in mind when they meet with Sandoval’s representatives this week.

They will also be mindful of the fact they need a left-handed bat to balance out what has become a heavily right-handed lineup. Sandoval, a switch hitter, hits 34 points higher as a left-handed hitter.

They also need help at third base. Will Middlebrooks has become a frustrating enigma for this team, and Brock Holt projects more as a super utility player. Sandoval would fit in perfectly on the left side of the infield – at least for the next couple of years.

That’s why the Sox are “all in” on putting the Panda in a Boston uniform. There is certainly risk. But the biggest risk facing this front office is not doing what it takes to make the team a contender in the coming season.

Tom Caron is the studio host for Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.