It’s possible that another team could grab Sandoval for their bench, but this could mark the end of Sandoval’s MLB career. Here’s how the Giants said goodbye:
Sandoval, 34, settled for a minor-league deal with the Giants this winter after undergoing Tommy John surgery last September. He earned a spot on the 40-man roster and with infielders Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria on the injured list to begin the 2020 season, he got some starts at first base. Later, Sandoval shifted to designated hitter. But he was unimpressive at the plate, batting just 220/.278/.268 through 90 plate appearances.
“Thank you San Francisco Giants, my teammates, coaches and the best fans in the world,” Sandoval wrote on his Instagram after the move became official. “It’s been an honor and privilege to play for you. My heart will forever be in San Francisco.”
Sandoval helped the Giants win three World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He took home MVP honors in the 2012 World Series against the Detroit Tigers after he went 4 for 4 with three home runs in Game 1. Two of those homers came off starter Justin Verlander. He became just the fourth player after Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols to hit three home runs in a World Series game.
Sandoval spent the first seven years of his career with the Giants before he signed a five-year deal with the Red Sox before the 2015 season. It was a tumultuous run with Boston, one that concluded with his release and the Red Sox still on the hook for the near $50 million remaining on his contract. The Giants and Sandoval reunited in 2017.
Sandoval debuted in 2008 and played for the Giants in 11 of his 13 major-league season. He currently owns 1,266 hits, 149 homers and a 112 OPS+ in 1,310 career games.
Entering Thursday, the Giants (23-21) have won five straight games, and eight of their last 10. With the 16-team expanded postseason this year, San Francisco currently owns the No.7 seed in the National League.