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NL West Notes: Sandoval, Black, Grichuk, Dodgers

NL West Notes: Sandoval, Black, Grichuk, Dodgers

When veteran infielder Pablo Sandoval signed a non-roster deal with the Giants last month, it was reported that the deal was not meant to be a ceremonial end to the 37-year-old’s storied career akin to the deal right-hander Sergio Romo took with the club before retiring last spring. Rather, Sandoval hoped that the deal could be a stepping stone toward returning to the majors. After the Kung Fu Panda slashed just .250/.323/.250 without a single extra-base hit in 16 games with the club this spring, it appears unlikely that will come to pass for the time being. That still doesn’t mean that Sandoval has any intention of retiring, however. As relayed by MLB.com’s Henry Schulman, Sandoval has indicated that he intends to keep playing even if he does not make the major league roster in San Francisco to open the season. Instead, he intends to report to Triple-A Sacramento and play for the Giants in the minor leagues.

A veteran of 14 big league seasons who last played in the majors back in 2021, Sandoval is a two-time All Star who earned World Series MVP honors with the Giants in 2012 while also playing a key role during the club’s championship seasons in 2010 and 2014. Sandoval initially departed San Francisco to sign in Boston prior to the 2015 season, but that disastrous contract saw him released partway through the 2017 campaign. He returned to the Giants afterward and enjoyed a pair of resurgent seasons with the club in 2018 and 2019 as he slashed .259/.311/.466 in a combined 200 games. His most recent big league appearances came with the Braves, with whom he hit .178/.302/.342 in 69 games in a bench role three seasons ago.

While Sandoval clearly intends to continue his professional career into his age-37 campaign, it’s unclear what the Giants’ plans are regarding their World Series hero at this point. Indeed, Sandoval noted to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area yesterday that he has not yet discussed his plan to continue playing in the minor leagues with Giants brass. Even so, Sandoval emphasized to Pavlovic that he has no intention of hanging up the cleats at this point. “Everyone thinks I’m retired,” Sandoval said (per Pavlovic). “I’m not retired.”

More from around the NL West:

  • Sticking with the Giants, the club made a surprising move yesterday by re-assigning right-hander Mason Black to the minor leagues, as noted by MLB.com’s Maria I. Guardado. While the right-hander’s 6.97 ERA in 10 1/3 innings of work with the Giants…

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