The last three seasons have been a train wreck, but Pablo Sandoval is reportedly headed back to the San Francisco Giants organization.
In November of 2014, Pablo Sandoval signed a five-year, $95 million deal with the Boston Red Sox. The results were not good in his first season with the team, with a .245/.292/.366 slash-line, 10 home runs and 47 RBI over 126 games (470 at-bats). But that was followed by playing just three games in 2016 due to a shoulder injury, and the early part of this year was derailed by a knee issue.
On July 14, the Red Sox designated Sandoval for assignment, and on Wednesday he was officially released. Andrew Baggarly ofThe Mercury News reported Sandoval has not cleared release waivers, and thus can’t sign with another team just yet.
But when he is free to sign with another team, without the burden of said team having to take on the rest of his bloated contract, a reunion with the San Francisco Giants appears to be in order.
The Giants have nothing to lose by bringing Sandoval back to their organization, as they sit with one of the worst records in the major leagues (37-59 entering Wednesday). He will have to pass a physical, which is not a foregone conclusion, then he’ll report to Triple-A Sacramento.
Sandoval hit .237/.286/.360 with 14 home runs and 59 RBI over an essentially full season with the Red Sox (161 games). Overall physical condition and injuries were a factor in that lack of production, but Sandoval’s physique made him a risky investment as he approached and crossed into his 30s, and the Red Sox found that out the hard way.
“Kung Fu Panda” spent the first seven seasons (2008-2014) of his career with the Giants, and he was part of the three World Series-winning teams in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Over those regular seasons with the Giants he posted a .294/.346/.465 slash-line, and he was named World Series MVP in 2012.
The Giants probably give Sandoval the best chance to get his career back on track in a comfortable spot. If he hits a bit of a stride offensively at Triple-A, he should be back in the big leagues in fairly short order.