Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans said Tuesday he was somewhat surprised by Pablo Sandoval’s critical comments regarding the San Francisco organization, but hopes that deep down Sandoval will remember his experience there in a positive way.
Sandoval said in a Bleacher Report article that it wasn’t hard to leave the Giants organization. He cited a couple of reasons, including a failed attempt to secure a contract from the team prior to his final season.
“If you want me around, you make the effort to push and get me back,” Sandoval said. “I knew early in spring training last year I was going to leave. They didn’t respect my agent. Contract talks, everything. The way [general manager] Brian Sabean talked to my agent.”
Evans does most of the negotiating for the Giants, and he remembers no great angst by Sandoval at the time, other than a desire to do something long-term. The Giants offered a four-year extension last spring training with a vesting option that had very reasonable incentives, according to Evans. The deal was worth just under $85 million, which was $10 million less than what they offered in the offseason.
And when the Giants matched Boston’s offer of $95 million, Evans said, they made it clear they would go up on that if it meant a deal could get done.
“I was never given any indication that Pablo was ‘done with the Giants,’ ” Evans said. “In fact, he was apologetic that he could not accept our offer at the time and that he needed to wait, and he expressed to me that he wanted to stay with the Giants. And we certainly wanted him to stay with us as well.
“This is a player who was extremely popular with our fan base. I hope he’ll always be looked upon in a very positive way and that he can look back with appreciation of what he helped accomplish, being a huge part of three championships.”
Evans also said that the Giants didn’t drag their feet, contrary to some reports.
“We made our first offer the day after the parade,” Evans said.
Asked whether the constant discussions about Sandoval’s weight might have added to his desire to leave, Evans said, “You’d have to ask Pablo that. We would express concern over any player’s physical condition.”
Evans added that he had a longstanding relationship with Sandoval’s agent and that communication was pretty open. He was surprised to hear of any mistreatment of the agent by Sabean.
Evans was also surprised that Sandoval would mention only manager Bruce Bochy and outfielder Hunter Pence as people in the organization he would miss.
“Pablo was a great teammate and I know he loved all of his teammates,” Evans said. “That’s not the Pablo I remember or that his teammates remember. He showed a great caring for everyone.
“I don’t take what he said literally. I give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s an emotional guy, very passionate about the game. I don’t hold this as an example of who he is.
“He was a great player for us and we appreciate everything he did.”
Follow Nick Cafardo on Twitter at @nickcafardo.