1:00pm: The Giants announced that Sandoval has been placed on release waivers.
12:32pm: The Giants are designating infielder Pablo Sandoval for assignment today, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports (Twitter links). The move will create space for fellow veteran Justin Smoak, who signed with the Giants yesterday.
Sandoval, 34, lasted just two and a half seasons in Boston under an ill-fated five-year deal but surprised many with a resurgent showing upon returning to the Giants after being cut loose. From 2018-19, Sandoval tallied 548 plate appearances over 200 games with his original club, hitting .259/.311/.466 with 23 homers, 33 doubles and a triple. The pendulum swung in the opposite direction in 2020, however, as Sandoval has logged a miserable .220/.278/.268 slash through 90 trips to the plate.
The 33-year-old Smoak hasn’t exactly fared well in 2020 himself, hitting just .186/.262/.381 in 126 plate appearances with the Brewers before being released. Even amid those struggles, however, Smoak has shown much more power at the dish and a better walk rate. He’s been more prone to strikeouts than Sandoval but gives the Giants a better defensive option at first base and more pop on days he serves as designated hitter or a late-game pinch-hitter.
With Sandoval hitting well in 2018-19 and Hunter Pence returning after a resurgent year with his hometown Rangers, Giants fans might’ve had visions of one last productive run from the fan-favorite duo that fueled so much of their “Even Year” dynasty from 2010-14. Both Pence and the Panda struggled mightily in what now looks to have been their San Francisco farewell tours, however, leaving their futures within the game somewhat up in the air.
Had the Giants been languishing in the NL West cellar, perhaps they’d have kept Sandoval around to close out the season. San Francisco, though, has rattled off five straight wins to surge back to current possession of the No. 7 playoff seed in this year’s expanded postseason format. It’s in some ways reminiscent of last year’s July hot streak. Last year’s club wasn’t able to sustain the pace and convert that hot streak into a playoff berth, but the 2020 Giants will look to parlay their current 8-2 stretch into the organization’s first playoff berth since 2016.
He was solid last year but seems like he had some internal family issues with COVID and gained a lot of weight which may have contributed to his downfall.
Not good when you hear that the already overweight Panda has gained weight. You have to wonder if this is it for him.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Have fun drinking beers and eating double cheeseburgers with Bartolo!
Time for Boston to take a shot and see if he has something left for next year. Another cheap 2020 acquisition. LOL………..
Panda’s documented breakfast of champions was a big bag of Cheetos and 2L Sprite. Really…..
I’m fairly certain that Boston has seen enough of the Panda
it really did contribute to his downfall – the extra weight really limited his range defensively making him primarily a bench guy that would platoon with belt for starts. If he was defense ready he would have gotten a lot more playing time as longo has gone down for large stretches this season – sad to see..
Adios Pablo. Thanks for the memories…
Thnks fr th Mmrs*
1 Hr 6RBI in 90 at bats and 270 lbs He’s not a panda he’s a Buddha
His best days are behind him he can go now back to wrestling as rikishi
He’s over 300 lbs right now.
to bad he isn’t batting his weight.
Fare thee well Panda. Ye brought championships and much joy to the Bay.
He also brought this :
The only team run worse than Boston are the Yankees.
3 rings, WS MVP, $100+ million in the bank. I’d say he’s his good.
Yep. These jokes are hilarious though.
Boston should pick him up.
ate himself out of the game.
That’s rough. Replaced for a worst hitter. I guess they don’t plan to make moves in the playoffs… panda becomes clutch then, but that will make this four game set that much easier
That clutch was slipping for years and finally burned out.
This move makes no sense. First Sandoval is a better hitter with a better track record then Smoak (besides power). Sandoval can play multiple positions (a Zaidi staple) while Smoak is a 1B where the Giants already have a hot hitting Belt, Ruff, and Flores, not to mention a few guys in Sacramento.
Why are you messing with team chemistry this close to the end of the season when the Giants are in the middle of a winning streak putting them in playoff contention?
This move is ridiculous.
his weight has limited his positions and the team as all year been aggressive on the basepaths – with the exception of pablo. I can see that there must have been frustration with all of the missed extra bases that smoak would more likely get
Wolf, Smoak has to get on base for there to be missed opportunities of him not taking extra bases. Smoak isn’t batting his weight this year. This move does nothing positive for the Giants, Pablo was a clubhouse guy and when you take that away it changes the dynamic of how a team plays.
It almost seems to me you’re comparing Smoak’s 2020 season with Sandoval’s career. Yes Smoak is struggling this season, but so is Sandoval. You mention Smoak not getting on base , but Sandoval’s OBP is only .278 to Smoak’s .262, those are small samples, but amount to 3 times on base. For their careers Sandoval’s OBP is .331, and Smoak’s is .322. Not a big difference.
What is revealing is comparing their ratios:
BB% – Sandoval 6.9%, Smoak 11.6%
XBH% Sandoval 8.7%, Smoak 8.3%
X/H/% (percentage of hits for extra bases): Sandoval 34%, Smoak 41%.
AB/HR: Sandoval 30.4, Smoak 21.2
LD%: Sandoval 22%, Smoak 24%
HR/FB (percentage of flyballs that were HRs) Sandoval 8.2%, Smoak 12.2%
Smoak is better, or about even in most categories. The only category where Sandoval has a clear advantage is SO%. Sandoval at 14.7 is way below MLB average, while Smoak is at 23/6%, 3% above league average.
It appears to me that Smoak has been underrated. And given that both players are stinking it up, Smoak seems like the better gamble given each of their their physical condition.
I think he has put on so much weight that he can’t be quick either in the batter’s box or at third. He’s really huge. So he’s limited to DH, pinch hitting and 1B. But on top of that, he has been swinging at pitches so high or so off the plate, that the DFA was clearly coming, even a few weeks ago. I’m not much of a Smoak proponent (I’d rather give some ABs to Shaw), but I see the logic short term.
Pete, I’d be more for this if it was for Shaw, at least see what you have in the young guy instead of bringing up a guy who has not hit for 3 seasons now.
But again, there is more to this than the on field stuff for me, you have released 2 players who create a positive change in the clubhouse. Pence was the first one, but his loss was a little different as he wasn’t a part of last years team anyway, Pablo brought a positive attitude and has been around many of these guys for a while. You can’t keep eliminating those types of players without it having an effect. I’d like to see both guys brought back as coaches if they don’t get picked up. I know Pablo has a wright issue, but he doesn’t have an attitude issue and that is sometimes the element you need to make a team believe in itself.
I think Pence—who I have tremendous appreciation for—was embarrassing himself, and neither he nor the FO wanted to see that. I’m sure they will bring Hunter on in some capacity. Kruk and Kuip go on endlessly about “Forever Giants,” some of whom really aren’t. But Hunter Pence is absolutely a Giant who will be forever a hero in SF.
Pablo, on the other hand, for whom I was the biggest proponent when he first came up, has managed to insult the fans and many of his teammates. He definitely contributed before and after the Red Sox debacle, and we all have fond memories, but I just don’t believe the clubhouse will be too adversely affected with his DFA.
I think you need to give up on Shaw. Every time he’s faced major league pitching he’s been over matched. I know SOs aren’t viewed as negatively as they used to be, but striking out 1/3 of the time, like Shaw has, is unacceptable..
I know Shaw’s a long shot, and I wouldn’t give him much more of a leash (he’s been given a number of chances). I was just saying that I’d rather give Shaw one more shot than Smoak, who has never impressed me. But, I guess, for the short-term they want a more veteran guy off the bench. I’m just glad to see a Giants team that can hit—even if we can’t pitch.
You might be right. I wouldn’t argue strongly for Smoak over one more chance for Shaw, though I do prefer Smoak between the 2. I never thought that highly of Smoak, but looking at his numbers make me think I’ve under rated him. If he wasn’t struggling so badly right now, that preference would be stronger. I do think Smoak is the better choice over Sandoval.
The thing is … the Phillies just released Neil Walker. Wouldn’t he be a better choice than both Sandoval and Smoak? Walker is a major league hitter and hits from both sides of the plate. An excellent guy off the bench for the rest of this season.
Tad2b13, I agree Shaw has not shown much to be positive about, but he also only has 72ABs in the majors. Imagine if the Pirates gave up on Bonds after about 400 ABs his rookie season where he struck out over 100 times and hit .223. Please don’t think I’m comparing the two, and I know Bonds had other numbers to show he had a chance to succeed, but what I am saying is you’re giving up on a guy after 72 MLB ABs. A better comparison may be Justin Turner, his first 60 ABs over the course of a couple of seasons he wasn’t doing much either. Guys need real shots to determine if they’re ML level or just a good minor leaguer.
I understand you were not comparing Shaw with Bonds.
I’ve seen Shaw a few times, both in SF and Sacramento. Admittedly those are small samples, but not only did he strike out a lot when I saw him, but he was missing the ball by as much as a foot in some ABs. A problem with pitch recognition was a thought I had. Who knows?
Mays is also a guy that had a rough start. But I think the difference between Shaw, and Bonds and Mays, is an understanding by the team to the potential of each guy. The teams see a lot more of the players than we do. What does the hitting coach report back after a workout in the cage, for example. They’re better at analyzing swings in BP. They have a much better idea than we do about a hitter’s weaknesses.
I think if the Giants saw more potential in Shaw, he would be getting more of the chance that Bonds and Mays got.
@SFGiants4ever – I thought the same thing. Maybe they plan to teach an old dog new tricks at 3rd? Seems like a terrible idea, but it’s the only sense I could make of it.
Tough year for the Buffets in San Fran…Covid 19,opening and closing, and now no Panda as a customer……
At least he went 2 for 4 in his final game. An all time great Giant but it was time to call it a career.
About freaking time
Panda, beloved Giant always.
Pablo was a great Giant and created wonderful memories for the fans. He will be missed, but it was time.
How bout that memory of him giving the fans and his teammates the Finger when he left in ’08?
LethimTroll Didn’t know Panda left when he was a prospect? You must know something we don’t with your infinite wisdom.
His all time great game destroying Verlander is a much more vivid memory for most fans
We know where you wish would have put that finger. You are such a tramp.
Sad to see him go, but the writing was on the wall with the acquisition of Smoak. Will Smoak provide more pop off the bench at opportune times? Guess we’ll see.
About time….. unload these over the hill veterans……
wu tang killa beez
The Giants need to stop chasing aging players like Longoria, Sandoval, Pence, etc.
They are in pretty bad shape, lots of bad contracts on this team
Most of those contracts are actually coming off the books after the 2021 season. So there actually not in bad shape.
I generally agree. Longoria is having a decent year at least.
And they’re sitting in a playoff spot with a positive run differential, an above .500 record, and a borderline top 10 farm system.
No they aren’t. The Yankees are in horrible shape.
A penguin that likes baseball
I remember using Pablo in franchise mode in MLB 11 The Show. Sad to see he’s on release waivers now.
Loved the guy. Grabbed him for my Fantasy team in 2009. Glad he was able to come back after the Red Sox fiasco. It was painful to see his inability to cope with fast balls. How about the HRs off of Verlander.
The Panda will be missed!!! The weight issue was, in my opinion, not taken too seriously by a SF team that saw a brand business with Pablo – that panda hat was sold, still is, all over the place. So, it just time to move on to greener pastures. Sandoval has plenty of gas in the tank still, overweight or not….
Got to respect this guy’s blatant disregard for his physical fitness yet he parlays that into a $90M deal with Boston. It got so bad in Boston that they had to assign an aid to him; one of his jobs was to make sure he wouldn’t or couldn’t order room service while on the road (true story). And then when his belt imploded on a swing…classic. Hats off to him for making the absolute most money he could given his talent and shortcomings.
Don’t forget about the Instagram incident.
Dude was a WS MVP…
Are you still jerking off to it?
I just finished. That’s my third time today. Now for the President getting naked at a QAnon rally.
One of those guys who made baseball fun. He played like a kid enjoying life.
Saw him toss countless balls to fans in Spring Training, joke with fans in English and Spanish, throw with both hands too.
If this is it, and it looks to be so, happy trails Panda.
For all his faults, he always brought a smile to your face.
Remember when everybody thought the Tigers would destroy the Giants in the WS? Well in game one he hit two HRs off Justin Verlander and another against a reliever. The Giants SWEPT the Tigers and Pablo was the MVP. A LEGENDARY player for the Giants. None of us care about the Red Sox thing, at all.. He returned, and he performed for two more seasons. Nothing but respect
There are many lessons to be learned from the ultimately unsatisfying career of Pablo Sandoval, for front office executives, players, and fans.
“Ultimately unsatisfying”??? Pablo isn’t a HOFer, he’ll never get his number retired, but his career as a Giant, definitely does not fall anywhere near unsatisfying. All Giants fans want every player the Giants sign to come up through the ranks and become perennial All Stars and HOFers, but 99.9% aren’t going to be (we may get lucky and see Posey go in if he has a couple more solid years). Sandoval had some huge moments for the Giants and who knows if they win in 10 without him, and if they don’t win in 10 who knows if the front office makes changes that change everything else that happened after. I’ll take what we as fans got from him, and personally I think releasing him for a less competent player in Smoak makes absolutely no sense. Pablo gave you more versatility, a better Avg, a better OBP, and cutting him changes the clubhouse dynamic while the team is on a winning streak and having moved above the Marlins in the WC standings.
I think a lot of this had to do with his attitude. The rest of giants seem to have soaked in some new coaching mentalities and it’s really working. Pablo might be likable and positive and fun and brighten the place up, but is he willing and able to change with the times and with the rest of the team? Apparently not. And just a sidenote, Smoak isn’t a replacement for Panda.
On the bright side, Sandoval signed an endorsement agreement with Spanx to market a line of men’s personal undergarments that will hide unsightly ‘man boobs’, muffin tops and beer bellies. When one door closes, another door opens…to the all-you-can-eat food buffet.
Panda looks like the foreman at Fred’s job on The Flinstones
With Pablo’s release, Oracle park just laid off half their food concession stand workers.
What a sad ending of a once great underdog story. He ate himself out of the limelight and his unbelievable arrogance kept him out.
got that right…..what a fat slob he turned into…..
Exaggerate much? The guy is 33 and had a 13 year career in the majors. Plenty of slimmer guys were out of baseball in their mid-30’s. Even if he had been able to keep his weight under control he was looking at only a couple more years at most, and as only a utility/bench guy or pinch hitter at that.
Blue jays need to pick up Pablo with all the injuries. Anything better than Travis Shaw.
Thank you Pablo, and the best of health and life to you and family. It’s been a great ride to this point. Plenty of life still ahead. Three rings, dude. World Series MVP. Two NL All Star appearances…
The big guy was a lot of fun to watch in his prime. This is likely the end of his playing career.
He hasnt been the same since he went to Boston. The only signing worse was Carl Crawford