Pablo Sandoval Farhan Zaidi Usatsi

Scottsdale, Ariz. — As Pablo Sandoval prepared for an unlikely comeback last month, he turned off the phones in the Giants organization. The man who ultimately decided to put Sandoval on the spring roster was no different.

When asked why the Giants added the 37-year-old to their non-roster invitational list, president of baseball operations Farhan Zadi had a humorous response in a text sent to hit writers.

“We had to sign Pablo because the workout videos he sent me were taking up all the space on my phone,” Zadi said.

Sandoval may actually be in the best shape of his career, and at the very least, he’s down significantly from his previous 1,149 games in the majors. He’s moving well and feeling good about his swing, and when he met with reporters before the first full-squad workout on Monday, he said it’s no joke.

Sandoval hopes to make the team, or at least set himself up for another run somewhere in Major League Baseball. He knew that was a long shot, but his message to manager Bob Melvin was basically, “Never tell me the odds.”

“He doesn’t want to hear anything about his chances,” Melvin said. “He’s going to go out there and make plays and try to force our hand.”

The Giants plan to reach out to Sandoval’s reps this spring and spent most of Monday backing up JD Davis at third base. From center field, Sandoval exchanged laughs with shortstop Marco Luciano, but also offered some advice. The Giants hope he’s a mentor to their young Spanish-speaking prospect, and another Venezuelan, Luis Matos, has said he’s received interesting texts from Sandoval in recent weeks.

Against all odds, Sandoval is the last one standing from the 2014 team just months before the Giants plan to celebrate that title team. His presence in the camp means other small things.

Alex Cobb was pleased to learn he wasn’t the oldest player in camp. Austin Slater inherited the title from Brandon Crawford as the tallest Giant in less than a week.

“It was a good run,” he said, smiling.

Cobb and Slater are locks to be on the roster this winter. There are no guarantees for Sandoval, but he’s taking this opportunity seriously and the Giants would do well to get him in the mix right away. Melvin, who has managed three other organizations since first meeting Sandoval when he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks, said it was all because of this when Zadee brought him the opportunity.

“He’s had a huge impact on this team over the years,” Melvin said. “He’s got an infectious personality, he’s got experience, he’s motivated, and I think there’s a lot of friction with some of our younger guys as well.”

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