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San Francisco Giants welcome back Pablo Sandoval at training camp

The San Francisco Giants have brought a familiar face back for spring training as former infielder Pablo Sandoval attempts to mount a comeback at age 37.

Reports of Sandoval returning to the team surfaced over the weekend. On Monday morning, the team posted about the move on social media, announcing that Sandoval was signed to a minor league contract with an invite to report for the Giants' spring training facility in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Known as "Kung Fu Panda" during a 13-year career, Sandoval is best remembered for helping the Giants win World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He won the 2012 World Series MVP after batting .500 with three homers in the Giants' four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers. 

Sandoval signed with Boston following the 2014 World Series, but returned to San Francisco in 2017 after two tumultuous years with the Red Sox. He batted .268 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs in 108 games during that second stint with the team.  

The Panda came back to the Giants a third time on a minor league contact in 2020, but was later cut by the team. The Venezuelan last played 69 games with the Atlanta Braves two years ago. He played in the Mexican Pacific League in 2022 and also played winter ball in Puerto Rico during the 2022-23 offseason. Sandoval sat out the 2023 season.

According to reports, the move is not an attempt by Sandoval to have a final send-off with the team as the Giants did for pitcher Sergio Romo last season. While the Giants don't have any openings for the infielder to easily step into, Sandoval is apparently feeling fit and hopes to make the squad for the 2024 season.

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