The Kung Fu Panda is heading back to the Bay. After receiving a release from the Boston Red Sox, Pablo Sandoval agreed to a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants. First reported by Jesse Sanchez on Twitter, it appears that Panda will return to his happy place, where early in his career he won three World Series Rings.
Source: Pablo Sandoval is signing with the Giants.
Panda’s Boston Nightmare
After signing a mega-deal with the Red Sox, his production fell compared to his play with the Giants. The Red Sox agreed to a three-year, 52.8 million dollar deal to Panda, in 2015. With the Giants, Panda slashed .294/.346/.465. Since coming to the Red Sox, his production fell to .237/.286/.360. He battled injury and weight in Boston, including a 2016 season appearing in only three games. The Red Sox opted to eat the remainder of his contract following what has been a nightmare of a deal with them. In the field, he’s been more error prone in Boston than at San Francisco. In short, the Kung Fu Panda’s time in Boston was miserable for him, the team, and the fans who make up the Red Sox Nation.
Panda won World Series Rings with the Giants in 2010, 2012, and 2014. The massive infielder won the World Series MVP award for his performance in the 2012 series. In his last season with the Giants, he slashed .279/.324/.415. He may be more comfortable at AT&T Park, it could be that he hits National League pitching better, or it could be that Fenway Park just was not a good match for him.
A homecoming to California may be what he needs to return to his World Series MVP form from 2012. Expect to see him take a few turns at the corner with the Sacramento River Cats before heading back to the big leagues.