Sandoval was a lost soul by the end of the 2010 season as the Giants went on their run to the World Series championship. His average wasn't that bad (.268), but he was about 40 pounds overweight and was reduced to a part-time player.
After the World Series, general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy said at a press conference that Sandoval might be sent to the minor leagues if he didn't report to spring training in better shape. He subsequently was put on a strict conditioning program in the offseason and weighed in at 239 pounds, down about 40.
Once the exhibition games began, it was obvious that Sandoval was a new man. He fielded his position with more dexterity, his bat was quicker and he got off to a great start.
But a broken hamate bone sidelined Sandoval in May, and he missed 40 games after undergoing surgery. When returned in June, he picked up where he left off and was so hot, he was chosen as a backup on the National League All-Star team.
Sandoval made $500,000 last season. He had filed for $4.25 million in arbitration, and the Giants offered $3 million.
The Giants didn't stop there. They also signed right fielder Nate Schierholtz to a one-year, $1.3 million deal, following up deals earlier this week with outfielder Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan and reliever Santiago Casilla.