SF Giants add 4-time World Series champ Pablo Sandoval as a non-roster invitee

Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants
Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Spring training in Scottsdale is about to get a lot more interesting, According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, SF Giants legend and four-time World Series champion Pablo Sandoval will be returning for a third stint with the club.

SF Giants add 4-time World Series champ Pablo Sandoval as a non-roster invitee

Of course, Sandoval played a huge role in helping the Giants win three World Series titles in five series. He did receive a fourth World Series ring from the Atlanta Braves in 2021 despite not finishing the season with the club.

The switch-hitting infielder recorded a .178/.302/.342 line (71 OPS+) with four home runs, 11 RBI, and 11 runs in 86 plate appearances with the Braves before being shipped to the Cleveland Guardians at the 2021 trade deadline in exchange for Eddie Rosario. Rosario would play an important role in the Braves winning their first title in nearly three decades, whereas Sandoval would be cut loose by the Guardians immediately following the move.

The 37-year-old has not played in the majors since then. However, he continued to play in the professional ranks, notably in the Mexican League as well as winter ball in both Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

Sandoval is well known among Giants fans for his first stint with San Francisco where he helped build a championship pedigree while being one of the favorites among fans. This included three World Series titles and two NL All-Star appearances.

The corner infielder ended his seven-year stint in San Francisco after the 2014 season. He signed with the Boston Red Sox on a five-year, $95 million pact. It proved to be an ill-fated move by Sandoval and one that he continues to regret.

In a bit of a surprise, the veteran bat returned to the Giants after being released by the Red Sox midway through the 2017 season. He was no longer the same player he was earlier in his career, but Sandoval remained a fan favorite and proved he could still contribute on the field.

During his second stint, his best season came in 2019 where he tallied an .820 OPS with 14 home runs in 296 plate appearances in 2019. Unfortunately, he struggled to the tune of a .546 OPS in the following season and was unceremoniously designated for assignment to make room for Justin Smoak.

The 14-year veteran is now two years removed from playing in the majors. What can he offer at this stage of his career? The Giants have been in need of a left-handed-hitting infielder with experience on the left side of the diamond. Sandoval checks that box, but can he still fill a role on a major league roster? That remains to be seen. It is a no-risk move, but at the very least, it will be a fun story to follow in camp.