When Pablo Sandoval left San Francisco following the 2014 season and blasted the Giants on his way out, it appeared a bridge had been burned forever. Two and a half years later, that bridge has been miraculously reconstructed, allowing Sandoval the opportunity to return to the city he helped win three World Series championship.
According to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, Sandoval is coming back to the Giants on a minor league deal. He will report to Triple A Sacramento in the coming days, where he’ll be evaluated for a potential return to the Giants.
The reported agreement comes hours after Sandoval was released by the Boston Red Sox. There’s some confusion about whether Sandoval would be forced to clear release waivers. That would be a lock to happen with Sandoval due to make $49.8 million through the end of the 2019 season, so the path appears clear regardless of the technicalities involved.
Sandoval became expendable even with the Red Sox lacking any real alternatives. The 10-year veteran was granted his release 10 days after Boston designated him for assignment, meaning the Red Sox were unable to find a willing trade partner during the time frame. Boston will remain on the hook for the remaining $49.8 million.
The dead money won’t be a huge problem for Boston. It will however serve as a reminder of how dreadful Sandoval’s two and a half year stint was. The Red Sox are expected to upgrade at third baseman before the trade deadline. A deal for Todd Frazier appeared to be in place as recently as Tuesday, but the rival Yankees swooped in to land him.
The Giants, meanwhile, just need healthy bodies and production. It’s unclear how much Sandoval can provide at this stage in his career. He hit .212 in 99 at-bats for Boston this season, but perhaps a return to San Francisco would be enough to rejuvenate both sides. It’s a risk worth taking for an organization that needs cheap options to make up for its own share of bad contracts.
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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter!