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In a scenario no one thought was possible three years ago, Pablo Sandoval rejoined the San Francisco Giants on Saturday. The veteran third baseman, who left San Francisco on bad terms following the 2014 season, officially inked a minor-league deal with his original club.
Many thought Sandoval had burned his bridge with the Giants after he lashed out, charging that the team had disrespected him during contract negotiations leading up to his departure. At the time, Sandoval was pretty comfortable, having just inked a five-year, $95 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.
Now that his Boston stint has failed — he was released on Wednesday, leaving the Red Sox on the hook for the remaining $49.5 million owed — and there were few options available for Sandoval to consider, he was forced to eat his words and offer an apology, which was released in conjunction with the announcement of his signing on Saturday.
“I have always loved and appreciated the Giants organization, my Giants teammates and the fans of San Francisco. I have so many great memories and I want to thank the organization for giving me another chance to come back here. When I left the Giants in 2014, my comments were emotional, insensitive and misguided and I truly regret and apologize for my actions. I am committed to working hard to contributing to the success of the Giants.”
Speaking to the media, Sandoval added that he wishes he’d re-signed with the Giants in 2014. It was also noted that Sandoval apologized to his former teammates that remain in the Giants clubhouse.
Pablo said he has apologized to his former #SFGiants teammates. "I learned my lesson."
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) July 22, 2017
While we’re sure some will question the sincerity of those apologies, there has to be some degree of satisfaction from Giants fans and maybe even the organization that Sandoval was forced into that position.
Of course, the Giants insist the signing was strictly motivated by baseball.
Bochy on whether signing Pablo is strictly a baseball move: pic.twitter.com/L8kqLubgaV
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 22, 2017
Honestly, the expectations for Sandoval on the field can’t be too high at this point. In 32 games for Boston this season, he hit a mere .212/.269/.354 with four homers. Beyond that, health has been an issue. Sandoval appeared in only three games for Boston last season and 161 overall dating back to his signing.
Still, there’s really no harm giving him this chance. The Giants are getting him at the cheapest possible rate, and they’re making him prove he deserves a real chance. In he has something left in the tank, a better opportunity could come soon. That’s assuming the Giants trade Eduardo Nunez before the deadline.
For now though, Sandoval is scheduled to report to Class A San Jose Saturday night, before moving on to Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday. And it’s his performance there that will likely determine whether this reunion is more than an apology tour.
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