Pablo Sandoval, a key player in the Giants’ three World Series victories, will join the River Cats on Tuesday.
Sandoval, the 2012 World Series MVP, signed a minor-league contract with the Giants on Saturday and reported to their Class A affiliate in San Jose. In Saturday’s 5-4 loss to Rancho Cucamonga, Sandoval went 1 for 4 with a walk and an RBI groundout. He was pulled for a pinch runner in the ninth.
Sandoval, who was released by the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday and cleared waivers Friday, also will play in San Jose on Sunday and Monday before joining the River Cats, the team’s Triple-A affiliate, when they return from Tacoma, where they are playing the Rainiers through Monday. The River Cats host the Round Rock Express for four games beginning Tuesday.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the San Jose Mercury News that Sandoval’s evaluation period with the River Cats will be at least 40 to 50 at-bats.
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“I have always loved and appreciated the Giants organization, my Giants teammates and the fans of San Francisco,” Sandoval said in a statement released by the Giants. “I have so many great memories and I want to thank the organization for giving me another chance to come back here. … I am committed to working hard to contributing to the success of the Giants.”
Sandoval, 30, signed as an amateur free agent with the Giants in 2002 and made his major-league debut in 2009. In seven seasons with the Giants, he batted .294 with 106 home runs and 462 RBI. He has batted .344 in 39 postseason games. In the opening game of the 2012 World Series against Detroit, Sandoval hit three home runs to lead the Giants to a 8-3 victory.
Sandoval, a two-time All-Star with the Giants, signed as a free agent with the Red Sox following the 2014 season, but he wasn’t nearly as successful in Boston. In 161 games over three seasons, he batted .237 with 14 home runs and 59 RBI.