Atlanta Braves fans have clamored for additions and free agent returns to the lineup all offseason. Braves Twitter has run amuck as visions of J.T. Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna, and Kris Bryant danced through their heads. Well, fret no more, Braves Country, as according to Jon Heyman, third baseman Pablo Sandoval will return to the Braves on a one-year, $1 million deal on the condition that he makes the big league club. DROP THE F****** BEAT!
Never has a song befit a situation more than this one. Sandoval joined the Braves Sept. 14 of last season following his release from San Francisco. Sandoval went 0-2 with two walks in the regular season, but made the 40-man postseason roster, going 0-3 though he was hit by a pitch in the NLCS against the Dodgers. As an aside, I can only imagine the pitcher’s response to hitting the 268-pound Sandoval was this.
Atlanta will rely on Austin Riley and potentially Johan Camargo at the hot corner to start 2021. There is a window for Sandoval, however; as Riley could slide into left field should Ozuna not get resigned, and Camargo’s offensive production has left some to be desired.
One of the more colorful personalities, Sandoval made a name for himself in his first stint with the Giants. While in the Bay Area, Panda won three World Series titles, the 2012 World Series MVP Award, and he was a two-team All-Star. He was rewarded with a five-year, $90 million deal from the Red Sox, where he played just 129 games before being released.
If the 34-year-old Venezuela native cannot make it work in Atlanta, taking the money and running is not the worst option. Sandoval has made $115,985,140 in his career, per Spotrac. He could theoretically take his fortune and move closer to home, playing baseball in an environment that in infinitely cooler than the stuffy Major Leagues. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this short video about baseball in the Dominican and tell me you would not rather play there. It’s enough to make Brian McCann faint.