MassLive.com – Pablo Sandoval’s day with the Red Sox are over.
The club announced on Friday morning they designated the 30-year-old for assignment.
Sandoval appeared in just 32 games this season hitting .212 with a .622 OPS.
From a pure baseball perspective, this move comes as no surprise. When the manager is afraid to put you at third base with a lefty on the mound – and your team has four left handed starting pitchers – the situation has become untenable. There’s no such thing as an $18 million pinch-hitting specialist. Clearly the team had to move on.
From a financial standpoint, though, it does come as a mild surprise. The Red Sox still owe Pablo Sandoval roughly $50 million and I’ll bet Dave Dombrowski had to run this move by John Henry before pulling the trigger. I’ll also bet that Dombrowski frequently reminded Henry during their conversation that it was the guy here before him that signed Sandoval to that outrageous contract. Classic office move, “I’m just cleaning up the mess left by the last guy.”
[On a side note, Dombrowski also better hope that David Price’s arm holds up. If that guy breaks down, it will make the Sandoval situation look like paying a parking ticket. And there’s no way to blame that one on anyone else.]
Obviously it’s disappointing the Sox couldn’t ship Sandoval off in a salary dump trade a la the Nick Punto Trade of 2012. But it’s hard to see another team taking a flyer on Sandoval at this point. If he got back into shape and still couldn’t play, what else is there left to see?
Boston was never a great fit for Sandoval. As is so often the case, he would have been better served taking a few less bucks to stay in a better situation in San Francisco. The next time a player does that may be the first time, though. In any event, the search for a third baseman goes on for the Red Sox. I look at players like Adrian Beltre and Travis Shaw and can’t help but ask, “Why can’t we get players like that?”