Those panda hats can stay in storage for now — Pablo Sandoval won’t be rejoining the Giants in 2017. At least, that’s the latest from MLB.com’s Chris Haft, who debunked previous rumors that the Giants were having internal discussions about their former third baseman.
As relayed by Haft, Giants’ GM Bobby Evans said the club prefers to stick with Eduardo Nunez in the hot corner for the time being. The Giants are expected to focus on bolstering their bullpen this offseason and have not announced any plans to restructure their infield as of yet.
It’s hardly surprising given Sandoval’s track record with the Red Sox over the last two seasons. The 30-year-old batted an underwhelming .245/.292/.366 over 505 PA during the Sox’ 2015 run, while a shoulder injury kept him sidelined through all but three games in 2016. A return to the starting lineup in 2017 doesn’t seem out of the question, but it’s difficult to believe the Giants would have jumped at the chance to take on the rest of the $58 million he’s owed through 2019 (with a buyout for 2020) considering the veteran’s declining offensive production and health and weight issues.