Why Rule 5 pick Sabol was ‘elated’ when Giants traded for him originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Blake Sabol will soon know whether he’ll make the Giants’ Opening Day roster or find himself offered back to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
And based on his love for the West Coast, the 25-year-old catcher would certainly prefer to stay with San Francisco.
Sabol was taken fourth overall by the Cincinnati Reds in December’s Rule 5 Draft, and he told KNBR’s Marty Lurie on Saturday it came as a surprise when the Pirates didn’t place him on their 40-man roster in the first place. But everything worked out in his favor after he ultimately ended up on the Giants.
“For about 30 minutes or so, I thought I was going to head over to Cincinnati and get an opportunity there, and I was excited for it,” Sabol told Lurie. “My agent gave me a call … and he was like, ‘Hey, congratulations, but I’ve got some better news for you.'”
San Francisco was finalizing a trade with Cincinnati for him, Sabol’s agent said, and the teams would be making the news official in about 15 minutes.
“I was elated,” Sabol said. “I mean, that was something I’ve always wanted to do in my baseball career was get back over to the West Coast in California where I grew up, and it’s close to family and friends to see me play and stuff.
“Such a storied franchise, and since I’ve been alive, what, three World Series titles? It seemed like an absolutely amazing opportunity that doesn’t come along very often.”
Sabol grew up in Orange County about 20 minutes away from Angel Stadium, and now, after a minor league journey that has taken him through West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and more since Pittsburgh drafted him in 2019, he’s finally back in California.
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If Sabol doesn’t make the Giants roster, they can’t keep the Rule 5 pick and will have to offer him back to the Pirates.
But he has enjoyed a strong spring at the plate and is making a push for one of those spots thanks to his versatility, and that might end up being something San Francisco isn’t willing to part with.
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