Pablo Sandoval agrees to minor league deal with Braves

ATLANTA (AP) — Third baseman Pablo Sandoval has signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves.

Sandoval would receive a $1 million, one-year contract if he is added to the team’s 40-man roster under a deal the Braves confirmed Monday.

The 34-year-old Sandoval hit .214 in 84 at-bats with the Braves and San Francisco Giants in 2020. He had no hits in two at-bats with Atlanta but was kept on the team’s postseason roster, and he had no hits in four plate appearances.

Sandoval, whose nickname is Kung Fu Panda, will try to prove he can return to the form he showed in 2019, when he hit .268 with 14 homers with the Giants. The 2012 World Series MVP with San Francisco signed with the Braves late last season following his release by the Giants on Sept. 10, ending his second stint with the team.

Austin Riley will enter spring training as the favorite to start at third base for the Braves. Riley also is an option in left field.

The switch-hitting Sandoval has a career .279 batting average with 149 home runs in 13 seasons with the Giants, Boston and Atlanta. He hit .330 with 25 homers and 90 RBI for San Francisco in 2009, his second season.

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