SF Giants cut ties with franchise icon and 3-time World Series champ Pablo Sandoval

Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants
Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants / Suzanna Mitchell/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

SF Giants franchise icon Pablo Sandoval would like to continue his playing career. Those plans hit a snag on Thursday as the club announced that he was released, per the team's transaction log.

SF Giants cut ties with franchise icon and 3-time World Series champ Pablo Sandoval

This could be a contractual thing. At times, teams will release a player from his contract and then re-negotiate a deal. Hopefully, that is the case for Sandoval, but if not, he will look for a place to play elsewhere.

Minor league baseball recently agreed to its first-ever Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) last year. This led to substantial pay increases for minor leaguers. That is the good news. However, minor league rosters have been reduced from 180 players to 165 players. That is 450 total jobs that have disappeared overnight as a result of the new CBA.

This could have a direct impact on veteran minor leaguers. With roster spots becoming more scarce, there just is not enough room to keep veterans in the organization. Prospects will have priority over those roster spots. This is going to force some players to pursue Indy Ball or retire instead as the opportunities dry up.

Hopefully, that is not the case with Sandoval. In many respects, he should be treated as an exception given his longstanding ties to the Giants organization.

The 14-year veteran came into camp as a non-roster invitee. It was an exciting move even if there was no direct path to making the club, but he quickly had a positive impact on young players like Marco Luciano and Luis Matos.

Sandoval got off to a slow start in the Cactus League but finished on a high note. Overall, he registered seven hits in 28 at-bats. This includes a bloop single to right field in his final at-bat at Oracle Park on Tuesday night against the Oakland A's. The veteran bat got to walk off of the field to a standing ovation.

His last productive season came in 2019 when he recorded an .820 OPS in 296 plate appearances with San Francisco. The 37-year-old has not appeared in the majors since being let go by the Cleveland Guardians in 2021. It has been a long time since then, but Sandoval still has a lot to offer the game. Where he will be able to do that remains a mystery. That said, baseball is better when he is on the field.