Pablo Sandoval responds to Aubrey Huff’s criticism: “Who is Aubrey Huff?”

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Third baseman Pablo Sandoval decided to leave the Giants as a free agent, ultimately signing with the Red Sox on a five-year, $95 million deal in November. Sandoval was beloved in San Francisco, helping the team win three championships over the last five seasons. Despite that, there’s some ongoing bad blood between Sandoval and the Giants.

Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller recently quoted Sandoval as saying the Giants, including GM Brian Sabean, “didn’t respect” his agent. In explaining why he took less money to join the Red Sox, Sandoval said, “It is not about money. It is about how you treat the player.” When asked what he would miss about the Giants, Sandoval said, “Only Bochy.” He then added, “And Hunter Pence. Just those guys.”

Former Giant Aubrey Huff went on Facebook recently, responding to Sandoval. He wrote (via ESPN’s Marly Rivera and Gordon Edes):

“I’m pretty sure their (sic) wasn’t a tear shed on behalf of all the players, and the coaches when he signed with Boston,” Huff’s Facebook post from earlier in the week read. “It has always been about Pablo. He had the fans fooled but not the players! One of the biggest reasons he didn’t want to come back is because the Giants made him workout on the treadmill every day! Pretty sure that was a driving force for him! Never the less [sic] he could have always been a legend in San Fran but ego always will come in to play when it comes to Pablo! Sorry for the rant just want to take up for the players who are there now holding their tongues, because they don’t want to get in the middle of this! If you can’t get along with guys like (Buster) Posey, (Madison) Bumgarner, (Matt) Cain, (Jeremy) Affeldt (sic), just to name a few, then maybe it’s time to look in the mirror! Rant over!”

Sandoval’s response? “Who is Aubrey Huff?” He continued, “What is important here is to see where the person who made those comments is, and where I am now, that’s what counts.” He called Huff’s Facebook post “completely incoherent”.

Sandoval accrued 21.1 Wins Above Replacement (per Baseball Reference) over seven seasons with the Giants,  making the NL All-Star team twice. He frequently drew criticism for his weight, something Huff alluded to in mentioning that the Giants made him run on the treadmill every day. Huff intimates that Sandoval is lazy and selfish. Sandoval responded, saying, “I’m not selfish and I have always worked very hard for my team. Those are things I have proven to my teammates, especially working with young players.”

It will be interesting to see if Huff or anyone else associated with the Giants responds to Sandoval’s latest salvo, or if the issue will dissipate as the regular season draws closer.

Marlins give Don Mattingly two-year extension

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The Marlins have announced that they have inked manager Don Mattingly to a two-year contract extensions. There’s a third year in the form of a mutual option.

Mattingly is finishing up the final year of the four-year contract he signed with the Marlins prior to the 2016 season. He’s 272-364 in that period and the club has lost 99 games already this season. The current bad run, however, obviously corresponds with a massive rebuild the team began undertaking following the 2017 season and the team’s change in ownership. Mattingly has not had much to work with over the past two seasons but he has likewise, largely, kept the team on as even a keel as one could hope under the circumstances. He has certainly impressed the Marlins’ brass enough to take the unusual step of keeping on a manager they inherited from a previous ownership and front office group.

In other news, the Marlins also announced a two-year contract extension for shortstop Miguel Rojas valued at $10.25 million. There’s a vesting option for a third year. The deal buys out Rojas’ final year of arbitration eligibility and one year of free agency, plus that option.

Rojas, 30, is hitting .285/.335/.383 (OPS+ 92) this year.