After His Release From Red Sox, Pablo Sandoval Hopes Return To Giants Resurrects His Fading Career

July 22, 2017

By Reid McEvoy


Pablo Sandoval has signed a minor league deal to return to the San Francisco Giants, the place he spent seven years of his career.


In his time in San Francisco, he won three World Series rings, a World Series MVP, had two All-Star appearances, all the while recording 106 home runs, 462 RBI and 946 hits. But since then, he’s had a hard fall.  


Coming off a World Series victory and the series-clinching catch in 2014, Sandoval was at the top of the free agency market, and the Boston Red Sox jumped on the opportunity to fill a need. Sandoval signed a 4-year, $58 million contract with Boston.


Whether it was a World Series hangover, the money getting to his head, or the new environment, Sandoval sharply declined. In his first year in Boston, he hit 10 homers, six fewer than he hit the previous year with the Giants, and 15 fewer than his career high, while also dropping 50 hits from his previous year. The following year, the stat that dropped was games, going from 126 to three. That happened due to Travis Shaw taking the starting job and Sandoval suffering a season-ending surgery on his shoulder. And it didn’t help that in those three games, he got six at-bats, had no hits, and struck out four times.


This season, Sandoval started strong in Boston, taking back the starting position via a good spring training performance, but that didn’t translate to the regular season. As he continued his slump from 2015, and then once again got injured, the Red Sox realized he definitely was not worth having around, so he was promptly designated for assignment, and released. Three days later, the Giants reclaimed “The Panda” and have now assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats.  


There Sandoval will be hoping to climb the ranks, including past top prospect Christian Arroyo, and reunite himself with former teammates such as Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, Joe Panik and Buster Posey. It may not be the easiest transition, since he hasn’t played third base on a consistent basis since 2015, and won’t have the DH role to help back him up, but maybe The Panda is just what the Giants need to turn around their bad season, and make a run to the postseason once again.


Being released may be the wake up call Sandoval needs to revive his career and help him return to the top of his game.


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