Third baseman Pablo Sandoval has struck a minor league deal to return to the San Francisco Giants, pending a physical, according to multiple news reports.
The former Giants star was released from the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday but is now en route to San Francisco. Sandoval, who will turn 31 in August, will take a physical for the Giants then begin playing in Triple-A Sacramento.
Because Sandoval is on waivers, he won’t be able to sign a contract until later in the week, when he officially becomes a free agent.
“I’m waiting for Friday to make a decision, and the Giants are one of my options,” Sandoval told ESPN’s Marly Rivera by phone. “I have a few teams interested, but I can’t make a decision until Friday.”
The 2012 World Series MVP with the Giants was let go Wednesday by the Red Sox when he didn’t report after being designated for assignment last week. It officially ended the Boston tenure for the once-celebrated free agent. Sandoval was never healthy enough to live up to the expectations that came with the $95 million contract he signed in 2014.
“He did a lot here, and we’ll never forget that,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy told KNBR 680 radio on Wednesday. “Sometimes, it makes sense, especially when you’re looking at it financially, it doesn’t cost you a lot.”
With the Red Sox unable to find a team willing to take on part of his salary, Sandoval moved on after 161 games, 575 at-bats, 136 hits and 14 homers for Boston.
He’ll now rejoin the organization he helped to earn World Series titles in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
“I loved the way he played,” Bochy said. “He had so much enthusiasm, and that got infectious in that dugout. And of course, what he did for us on the field … a young guy that needed some help, so we all tried to do our part to make him a better player.
“He was a great guy to have on the club. A hard worker, a quick learner.”