San Francisco Giants Future GM…Pablo Sandoval?
By Michael Saltzman
The San Francisco Giants announced yesterday that they made a trade with the Cincinnati Reds for Connor Joe.
At first glance, it felt like a small move, as the Giants gave up pitcher Jordan Johnson and cash, while designating outfielder Drew Ferguson for assignment. When you peel the layers back, you realize that everything Joe does well is the same skills Pablo Sandoval does well. Joe is a first and third baseman, but he can also play the outfield. He hits right handed with a strong on base percentage, so he is likely seen as a better option for the Giants bench than Sandoval.
With the numbers crunch of the opening day roster looming, and with Yangervis Solarte, Aramis Garcia and Alen Hanson competing for roster spots, Sandoval might be the odd man out.
If Sandoval is DFA’d, there is an out of the box idea for his next job that should be given serious consideration: General Manager. While some may laugh at the idea, look at the facts.
Pablo Sandoval has already proven to be an amazing recruiter.
Dereck Rodriguez, who was a minor league signing of the Giants a year ago, signed with the Giants after a recommendation by the Panda. His meteoric rise through the system to the major leagues in less than a year and success at the big league level was the best story of 2018.
This off-season, Pablo was back at it, convincing outfielder Gerardo Parra, catcher Rene Rivera and Solarte to join the orange and black. All three are expected to make the 25 man roster and play key roles in 2019.
Essentially one sixth of the roster is because Pablo Sandoval is an excellent judge of talent and fit for a roster.
Pablo Sandoval has a wonderful relationship with Bruce Bochy.
Sandoval recently honored Bochy at the Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards, for his influence on his professional success.
Bochy has talked about how he looks at Pablo as a son, and their working relationship is a huge reason Sandoval came back to the Giants in 2017.
His departure in 2014 was brutal and he has plenty of disparaging comments as he left, but one of the few men he praised was Bochy. He later clarified his comments to say that Bochy and Hunter Pence were just the men he’d miss the most and not the only ones he missed, but the sentiment was the same. He revered Bochy more than most.
One consistent comment made during the championship era was how well Bochy worked with general manager Brian Sabean. Having a strong working relationship is paramount to make sure the front office and the manager are on the same page.
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Sandoval and Bochy have proven they can work together, and thrive when they both are at their best.
Pablo Sandoval should not make the 25 man roster.
Reasons for Pablo to make the 2019 Giants are more emotional than statistical. He is not as good on paper as the other options available to new team president Farhan Zaidi.
Sandoval will clearly be a perfect fit for the clubhouse and team morale and chemistry in the locker room, but Zaidi also chose not to bring back Hunter Pence. If Zaidi truly felt that team chemistry was worth more than on field production, Pence would be winning one of the open outfield spots in San Francisco instead of Texas.
While Zaidi talks about chemistry as an important part of team success, adding talent any way he can is his first goal. It is what the Giants hired him to do. Sentimentality and nostalgia is one of the reasons the Giants have struggled the last two seasons to win games. While they were hoping for the core of World Series heroes could find their consistency again, other teams were stockpiling more talent.
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The 2019 Giants still have a huge part of the core intact, and are still hoping for healthy, productive seasons from several players with World Series rings. With that said, and as much as it might hurt, moving on from veterans who raised banners might be exactly what needs to happen to make the Giants better this season. Sandoval might be one of those heroes that is asked to take a minor league assignment and possibly look to play elsewhere instead of continuing to help the current Giants.
If that does happen, the front office might be the best fit for the versatile renaissance man.