SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Giants have let go of another fan-favorite and iconic member of the franchise, placing Pablo Sandoval on unconditional release waivers Thursday, the club said.

Sandoval was on his second stint with the Giants, coming over from the Red Sox in 2017 after he signed with Boston following the 2014 World Series, which ended with Sandoval catching the final out in the Game 7 victory. He had struggled at the plate this season, hitting just .220 with one homer in 82 at-bats.

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Known as the “Kung Fu Panda” for his physique and physical talents, Sandoval has been one of the most recognizable members of the Giants franchise and has authored a number of signature moments with the team. Perhaps his most memorable game was Game 1 of the 2012 World Series against the Detroit Tigers when he hit three home runs in his first three at-bats of the game.

On Instagram, Sandoval posted a thank you message “To San Francisco Giants, my teammates, coaches & the best fans in the world. You’ve been everything I could have dreamed of and more … It has been an honor and privilege to play for you. My heart will forever be in San Francisco.”

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With Sandoval’s release, the Giants were expected to promote left-handed first baseman Justin Smoak, signed to a minor-league contract Wednesday after he was released by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Last month, San Francisco also released fan-favorite Hunter Pence, who had resigned with the club this season after an All-Star season with his hometown Texas Rangers last season. Like Sandoval, Pence struggled to find his stroke at the plate.

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