A few hours after being officially released by the Red Sox, Pablo Sandoval has reportedly shrugged off the baggage that comes with being one of the mathematically worst free-agent signings of all time and found a new home in his old stomping grounds of San Francisco.
The minor-league deal is pending a physical and has been independently reported by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, among others, but hasn’t been announced by the team. That’s likely because Sandoval hasn’t yet cleared release waivers and therefore technically will not be a free agent until this Friday. Per Heyman, Sandoval will start with Triple-A Sacramento but should then be called up to the big-league club.
Sandoval was signed by the Giants as a 16-year-old amateur free agent in 2003 and spent the first seven years of his major-league career with the team. Since heading to Boston in 2015, Sandoval’s time on the field has been limited due to declining health and ugly due to declining performance. But given that the Giants are dead-last in their division and have been filling third base with a rotating cast of luminaries such as Eduardo Nunez and Conor Gillaspie, trying to add in an old fan favorite who’s hitting .212/.269/.354 maybe doesn’t look so bad—because, really, what matters at this point?
Regardless of whether or where Sandoval signs, Boston will still be on the hook for the $49.5 million remaining on his contract if he clears release waivers.