MLB Notes: Pablo Sandoval Returns to Giants With Minor League Contract

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval is back with the San Francisco Giants after signing a minor league contract with the team he broke into the majors leagues with on Saturday.

The 2012 World Series MVP walked into the Giants clubhouse at AT&T Park as if he'd never left, shaking hands with players and grabbing bullpen catcher and former teammate Eli Whiteside in a bear hug from behind.

It was a scene few people thought possible after Sandoval left on bitter terms following the 2014 season after helping San Francisco to its third World Series title in five years.

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Sandoval was apologetic upon his return, however, and blamed his comments then on immaturity.

Sandoval, 31, was expected to be the designated hitter for Single-A San Jose later Saturday night and will join Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday where he will split time between third base and DH.

The Boston Red Sox released Sandoval on Wednesday when the third baseman didn't report after being designated for assignment last week. It officially ended the Boston tenure for the slugger, who never was healthy enough to live up to the expectations that came with the $95 million free agent contract he signed in 2014 (see full story).

Blue Jays' Sanchez on DL again with blister problem
CLEVELAND -- Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez has been placed on the disabled list for the fourth time this season because of a blister problem.

Sanchez was removed from his start against Boston on Wednesday because of a recurrence of a blister on the middle finger of his right hand. He was examined by a hand specialist Friday in Cleveland and there's no timetable for his return.

The issue has limited Sanchez to eight starts. He's 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA. Sanchez was 15-2 with an AL-best 3.00 ERA last season and made the All-Star team.

Right-hander Joe Smith (sore shoulder) was activated from the DL and right-hander Chris Smith was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. Left-hander Jeff Beliveau, who allowed six runs and didn't retire a batter in the seventh inning Friday, was designated for assignment (see full story).

Orioles VP Duquette quashes notion of trading away talent
BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles apparently have no intention of dealing away veteran talent before the non-waiver trade deadline.

At least for now.

Although the Orioles were 46-50 and in fourth place in the AL East before Saturday's game against Houston, vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette believes the team has the potential to make a playoff run.

"The Orioles have had better ballclubs at this stage of the season, but I still have hope for this year's club," Duquette said. "I've got a lot of confidence that the guys that we have can put it together."

The rumor mill has Baltimore shopping veteran relievers Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Darren O'Day, along with outfielder Seth Smith and catcher Welington Castillo.

But Duquette seems more interested in adding arms rather than giving away veterans for prospects.

"This year we haven't had the starting pitching that we need, but the other elements of our ballclub are intact," Duquette said. "If we can get a little bit stronger pitching and add to the pitching, we can still make a run at this." (see full story)

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