The SF Giants have released fan-favorite Pablo Sandoval perhaps ending an era.
This marks the second time that the Giants have parted ways with Sandoval after first letting him walk back in 2014. And for the next few years, you would have been hard-pressed to find a more disliked player among Giants fans than Sandoval.
But as the old saying goes, “time heals all wounds.” And the Giants found that out when the “Panda” signed a minor league deal with the team in July of 2017 following a failed stint in Boston.
Sandoval was quickly forgiven by the vast majority of fans who had grown to dislike him while with the Red Sox. And all of a sudden, Sandoval returned to his old fan-favorite self.
Over the past almost four years, Sandoval has remained with the Giants mostly as a part-time role player. His resurgence in 2019 was one of the most enjoyable parts about an overall underwhelming season and he looked to do the same in 2020.
Unfortunately, his performance this season has been anything but.
Pablo Sandoval has struggled while the SF Giants’ offense has flourished.
The Giants’ offense has skyrocketed and is arguably a top-five offense in the MLB. But while the rest of the team continues to rake at the plate, Sandoval has been one of the few outliers.
In 33 games, Sandoval was slashing an ugly .220/.278/.268 with just two extra-base hits in 90 plate appearances. As a result, he had been relegated to primarily bench duty prior to his release.
His release is hardly surprising, but it does mark yet another “end of an era” in San Francisco. Last month, the Giants parted ways with outfielder Hunter Pence after bringing him back on a one-year deal in the offseason.
But after his struggles and the acquisition of Daniel Robertson, the Giants opted to designate Pence for assignment and release him the next day.
Both Pence and Sandoval were members of multiple championship squads and each has left their mark on Giants’ history.
While it’s sad to see Sandoval depart once again, it’s nice that he was able to repair his relationship with Giants fans.
And in reality, at only 34-years-old, there’s a chance he returns to San Francisco down the line. Never say never.