Is a reunion between Pablo Sandoval and the San Francisco Giants as far-fetched as it may seem?
People close to Sandoval say he would “love” to go back to the Giants, no matter what he said shortly after he exited San Francisco, where he had some memorably-spectacular October moments and also a few rocky times, as well.
As for the Giants, word is that some Giants people have spoken behind the scenes about the possibility, and they suggest it could be a consideration – though officially, they aren’t talking about it. Asked Saturday about a possible Panda reunion, Giants GM Bobby Evans would only say, “I can’t get into speculation one way or other on a player under contract elsewhere.”
It may well be nine days before we know, officially, whether the Giants will bring him back. The Red Sox have nine more days in the waiver period to try to trade Sandoval, though the likelihood of that seems to be nil. Red Sox president and GM Dave Dombrowski said about DFA’ing Sandoval that he tried to trade him before taking that action, and word is he offered to pay down the deal, significantly, and maybe even all the deal.
But nine days from now, Sandoval will be free to choose a new team, which would pay a minimum salary (Boston will be responsible for the whole $95 million deal, minus the minimum salary), and Sandoval not only has no qualms about returning to San Francisco, but in fact relishes the idea, according to people who speak to him regularly.
That’s the case despite a couple of not-so-great things he said about the Giants during his first spring as a Red Sox, when he told Scott Miller of Bleacher Report that he “left money on the table in San Francisco” to take the Red Sox offer and that he only will miss two members of the Giants.
“Only (manager Bruce) Bochy,” Sandoval told Miller. “I love Bochy. He’s like my dad. He’s the only guy that I miss. And Hunter Pence. Just those guys. But now I feel like I’m home.”
But now, he’d like to go home, to San Francisco, where he had a .294/.346/.465 slash line, a far cry from the disaster in Boston, where it was .237/.286/.360/. In 161 games (the same number as Carl Crawford) over two-and-a-half years in Boston he had 14 home runs, 59 RBI and a minus-2.0 WAR. But some think Boston just didn’t agree with him.
“He’s hit everywhere he’s been,” one friend remarked. The difference in the friend’s mind was the new locale.
There were some rocky times, too, with the Giants, between his weight issue and the team’s efforts to keep that under control, and some other things, including negotiations that went awry.
Sandoval also told Miller that first spring he knew all his last year there (that championship season of 2014) he was gone. “(The Giants) didn’t respect my agent,” Sandoval said in the spring of ’15. “Contract talks, everything. The way (then GM) Brian Sabean talked to my agent.”
Well, as it turns out, Sandoval not a year after that interview fired that agent, Gustavo Vasquez (and also, not insignificantly, his older brother Michael Sandoval, who worked with Vasquez). And now he wants to go back to the Giants.
The only question now is whether the feeling is definitely mutual.