Pablo Sandoval ready to ‘fight for spot’ in return to Giants camp

Feb 20, 2024, 9:38 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 16: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants is congratulated by tea...

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The notification surely made San Francisco Giants fans do a double-take upon first glance:

“San Francisco Giants invite third baseman Pablo Sandoval to Spring Training.”

While some might have taken the news as a sign that Sandoval would be joining camp as a guest instructor, the truth is that the longtime Giant is back for another shot at the big leagues.

At 37 years old, Sandoval will be joining San Francisco in hopes of securing an Opening Day roster spot that would reunite the three-time World Series winner with the team that he called home for 11 seasons.

More on Pablo Sandoval

Following a successful run with the Giants from 2008-14, Sandoval inked a five-year, $95 million contract with the Boston Red Sox leading into the 2015 season.

Upon joining Boston, Sandoval’s play regressed as the two-time All-Star hit .237 with 14 home runs and 59 RBI over parts of three seasons (161 games) before the Red Sox released the infielder from his contract in 2018.

Following his release, ‘Panda’ rejoined San Francisco for a successful 2018-19 stretch that saw him bat .259 while hitting 23 home runs and driving in 81 RBI over 200 games. Sandoval played with the Atlanta Braves from 2020-21 before the then-34-year-old reached a cross-roads in his MLB career.

Sandoval played in the Mexican League during the 2022-23 seasons and played in the Dubai-based ‘Baseball United’ league along with retired or aged stars like Robinson Cano and Bartolo Colon.

Now, the beloved Giant will attempt to join an MLB roster and prove that he has more in the tank regarding his professional career.

YouTube video

“I’m happy and blessed for this opportunity,” Sandoval said upon reporting to San Francisco’s Spring Training headquarters in Arizona on Monday.

“After three years, to be out of the league and get an opportunity to be back in the field again, it’s amazing. It’s amazing because the time that I was out, I missed it a lot. I got an opportunity to work out this year to put all the work together and get back in the best shape that I’ve ever been.”

Sandoval told reporters that he would be open to joining the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento if he is unable to secure a spot on the Opening Day roster, adding that he is looking forward to working with some of the younger players in camp.

“I came here to work with young guys and learn from them a little bit more and try to fight for a spot.”

It will be a tall task for Sandoval to crack the 40-man roster, especially with recently-signed slugger Jorge Soler sliding into the designated hitter spot and manager Bob Melvin already having to find playing time for Wilmer Flores, J.D. Davis, and LaMonte Wade Jr.

Even if it’s for one last Spring Training, Giants fans will have a chance to see number 48 don the orange and black as he attempts to make a comeback following a three-season absence.

SF Giants Schedule

Spring Training

  • February 13-15th – Pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training workouts
  • Tuesday, February 20th – Full squad workouts begin
  • Saturday, February 24th – Spring Training opener vs. Chicago Cubs

Regular Season

  • Thursday, March 28th-Sunday, March 31st – @ San Diego Padres
  • Monday, April 1st-Wednesday, April 3rd – @ Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Friday, April 5th-Sunday, April 7th – vs. San Diego Padres

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