Boston Red Sox finally cut ties with Pablo Sandoval

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 20: Pablo Sandoval
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 20: Pablo Sandoval /

After two and a half miserable years, the Boston Red Sox have finally made a decision on what to do with Pablo Sandoval.

When Pablo Sandoval signed with the Boston Red Sox in 2015, he was expected to be a long term answer at third base. Instead, injuries and extremely poor performance have forced the Red Sox to officially designate Sandoval for assignment.

The Red Sox never got the hitter they expected when signing Sandoval to a five year, $95 million contract. After hitting .294 with 106 home runs over seven years with the San Francisco Giants, he only hit .237 with 14 home runs and 59 runs batted in over 161 games with the Red Sox. Over two a half seasons, Sandoval could not even appear in a full season’s worth of games.

A disappointment from the start

Sandoval played 126 in his first season in Boston, disappointing fans with a .245 average and ten homers. He hit only from the left side of the plate after being a switch hitter for most of his career, but it did not help and he eventually lost playing time and the 2016 starting job to Travis Shaw.

In 2016, Sandoval appeared in only three games, highlighted by an embarrassing belt-bursting strikeout swing. His season ended without a single hit and led to shoulder surgery that kept him out for the year.

TORONTO, ON – APRIL 18: Pablo Sandoval
TORONTO, ON – APRIL 18: Pablo Sandoval /

Sandoval’s issue in Boston always appeared to be his weight. He often appeared heavier than any of his bios listed him, but he put in an impressive effort to cut the weight down over this past winter. The Red Sox were so confident in his work that they traded Shaw away to Milwaukee. Unfortunately, Sandoval’s issues appear to have been deeper than a simple weight issue.

More from Chowder and Champions

Sandoval only appeared in 32 major league games this season, hitting .212 with four homers and missing time due to a knee injury earlier in the season. He also went on the disabled list for an ear infection and his been rehabbing in the minors for almost the entire twenty-day period allotted for rehabbing major leaguers. That signaled that something was up with Sandoval and the Red Sox have finally made their decision.

Satisfied by the defensive production and occasional offensive outburst from Deven Marrero and Tzu-Wei Lin, the Red Sox have finally given up on Sandoval. He will now either be placed in the minor leagues or find a place on another team, though Boston will still be paying his huge contract.

Sandoval is still owed just over $49 million over the next two seasons, including a $5 million buyout cost worked into his contract. According to Jon Morosi, this sunk cost is the second largest in baseball history.

With Sandoval finally out of the picture, the Red Sox must weigh their options at third base. They can stick with Marrero and Lin and wait for Rafael Devers to be ready, likely next season. They can trade for one of the third basemen on the market.

Next: Aron Baynes adds board-banging toughness to Boston Celtics frontcourt

Brock Holt could eventually return to add some stability to the position. Whatever happens, it will have to happen soon with the trade deadline a few short weeks away.