Pablo Sandoval, a Giant again, arrives to spring training

He’s back! There was lots of love for veteran infielder Pablo Sandoval, who reported to spring training with the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, in a reunion with the team with which he won three World Series titles.

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The 37-year-old is returning to the Giants on a minor league deal which includes a non-roster invitation to major league spring training.

In video posted by the Giants, the long-time fan favorite, affectionately known as "Panda," was seen making his arrival to spring training with a big smile on his face, waving to cameras and then getting a warm greeting from players in the clubhouse.

The 2012 World Series MVP and two-time All-Star is seeking to return to the big leagues for the first time since 2021.

Sandoval played on the Giants’ 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Series-winning teams. He was named World Series MVP in 2012 after batting .500 with three homers in the Giants’ four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers.

He had his first stint with San Francisco from 2008 to 2014. He then went to the Boston Red Sox under a five-year, $95 million contract. He was released by the team in 2017. Panda then returned to the Giants later that season and played in San Francisco until 2020, when he was released. After that, he joined the Atlanta Braves until 2021.

On Monday, Giants General Manager Farhan Zaidi was quoted as offering a humorous explanation for the team’s decision to sign Sandoval again, suggesting Panda's relentless push to be back with San Francisco finally worked. 

Zaidi told reporters, "We had to sign Pablo because the workout videos he was sending me were taking up all the space on my phone."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.