Tag: Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval Comments on Struggles with Red Sox, Weight and More

Lost in the shuffle of the Boston Red Sox‘s winter-meetings activity is the return of Pablo Sandoval to the lineup after he appeared in just three games last season.

Looking back on his lost 2016, Sandoval acknowledged in a joint interview with ESPN.com’s Scott Lauber and ESPN Deportes’ Marly Rivera that he started to take things for granted.

“My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished,” Sandoval said. “I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be.”

Sandoval was able to squeeze a career’s worth of accomplishments into his first seven seasons with the San Francisco Giants. He was part of three World Series-winning teams in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He also earned a spot in two All-Star Games and was the World Series MVP in 2012.

His success did not translate to the American League when he signed with the Red Sox prior to the 2015 season, however. He hit .245/.292/.366 in 126 games during his first year with the team and lost the starting third base job to Travis Shaw in spring training ahead of the 2016 campaign.

His 2016 season ended before it began, as he had six at-bats over three games before being ruled out for the year with an ailing shoulder that required surgery in May.

“Things definitely happen for a reason,” Sandoval said. “[The surgery and rehab process] have helped revitalize that fire in me to win again.”

There is photographic evidence to suggest Sandoval is not just talking a big game, with Dan Roche of CBS Boston passing along this image from Alvaro Hernandez:

Sandoval touched on his new routine to get in better shape and keep the weight off:

I have been following a really strict routine that has taken a lot of dedication from my part. It has not been easy to wake up every single day at 6:30 in the morning to then head to the gym and start a full day of work. But you have to have that kind of dedication if you want to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

Weight has been an issue for Sandoval throughout his career.

During an April appearance on Toucher and Rich (via Samer Kalaf of Deadspin), CSN New England’s Sean McAdam reported the Giants made special arrangements at hotels so he couldn’t order room service.

Looking ahead to 2017with the Red Sox among the favorites to win the World Series after securing the American League East title last year and adding Chris Sale to the starting rotation in a trade with the Chicago White SoxSandoval knows the task in front of him.

“I am not taking anything for granted,” Sandoval said. “I am here to work hard. I’m not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field.”

In addition to extending his career by getting into better shape, Sandoval said the birth of his child earlier this year has also served as an inspiration:

Watching ‘Baby Panda’ grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that’s my motivation every day. The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson.

Sandoval has been one of the most criticized and scrutinized players in Major League Baseball since signing with the Red Sox, which is one of the pitfalls of playing in one of the biggest baseball markets in the country.

Things fell apart for Sandoval in 2016, but the upside of rock-bottom is that it leaves nowhere to go except up. He’s taking the physical steps to be in position to contribute for the Red Sox next season.

The one big hurdle left for Sandoval to clear is mental, which won’t offer a definitive answer until the games start in April.

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Pablo Sandoval Trade Rumors: Latest News and Speculation on Red Sox 3B

Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval hasn’t lived up to the expectations of his big contract and could be on the move because of that, with his former team the San Francisco Giants being rumored as a potential suitor.

Continue for updates.

Evans Comments on Sandoval Rumors

Saturday, Nov. 26

“I am not aware of any consideration of a reunion,” Giants general manager Bobby Evans said, per Chris Haft of MLB.com, “but we’ll never forget all that he meant to the Giants organization.”

Sandoval, Giants Reunion Being Considered

Friday, Nov. 25

According to Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald on Friday, the San Francisco Giants have “considered a reunion” with Sandoval. 

However, Drellich added that dealing Sandoval would be “a long shot,” even though current Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski was not the man to bring him to Boston.

Sandoval Has Been Major Disappointment with Red Sox

Sandoval is preparing for his third year with the Red Sox after signing a five-year, $95 million deal before the 2015 season, via Spotrac

In those first two years, Sandoval appeared in just 129 games and hit .242 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI. 

It’s a far cry from a player who batted .294 over a seven-year stretch with the Giants, which included two All-Star appearances and a 2012 World Series MVP award. 

Physical issues have played a major role in Sandoval’s inability to produce, though. He was limited to just three games in 2016 after he suffered a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery. 

Sandoval also dealt with weight issues, which the team tried to address last season in an attempt to slim him down. While it didn’t work before the 2016 season, it looked like the long layoff did him wonders, as seen during his visit to watch FC Barcelona train:

With the retirement of David Ortiz, the Red Sox will be looking for another productive bat to support Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia. If Sandoval plays like he did in San Francisco, then he would be worth holding on to in Boston. 

But if the Red Sox are set on dealing him, it would probably take a big-market organization to pick up his deal and eat most of that salary.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Pablo Sandoval’s Shoulder Surgery Puts Kung Fu Panda at Career Crossroads

First off, let’s get this out of the way: There will be no fat jokes.

Undoubtedly, Boston Red Sox fans are in a wry and bitter mood at the news that Pablo Sandoval—their $95 million man—will undergo surgery on his left shoulder and could miss the rest of the 2016 season, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Cast aside the money and dashed expectations, however, and you’re left with an undeniable truth: It’s always sad when a talented baseball player slides off the rails. 

Lest we forget, Pablo Sandoval was—and still is—a talented baseball player. Now, he’s sitting at a difficult crossroads.

We’re talking about a two-time All-Star who built a reputation and a career during seven mostly superlative seasons with the San Francisco Giants.

Yes, Sandoval’s weight was an issue then, too. But the results were generally there, particularly in the postseason. In 39 career playoff games spread over the Giants’ trio of even-year championship runs, Sandoval posted a .344/.389/.545 slash line.

In his most memorable moment, he clubbed three home runs in a single World Series game in 2012, a feat that has only been matched by three other players in baseball history: Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols.

Not so long ago, it didn’t feel ludicrous to mention Sandoval in the same breath as those MLB luminaries. Not so long ago, he was the beloved Kung Fu Panda, selling hats and smacking pitches hither and yon.

But since signing that five-year, $95 million pact with Boston prior to the 2015 season, it’s been a steady diet of disappointment.

In his first go-round in a Red Sox uniform, Sandoval hit .245 with a paltry .658 OPS as Boston limped to a second consecutive last-place finish.

Then he arrived in camp noticeably out of shape, inspiring the following too-obvious headline pun, per Abraham: 

To further twist the knife, Sandoval was outperformed in the Grapefruit League by Travis Shaw, who hit .338 to Sandoval’s .204 while playing superior defense. Shaw ultimately won the third base job, pushing Sandoval to the bench. 

“It’s the right decision to help the team win,” Sandoval said at the time, per ESPN.com’s Scott Lauber. “It’s going to be difficult, but I have to be happy.”

The bad news didn’t stop there. After taking just six regular-season at-batsand embarrassingly busting his belt on a swingSandoval landed on the disabled list with a sore shoulder.

Now, we know how serious of an issue it was.

There’s a silver lining, or a potential one at least. Perhaps Sandoval’s bum shoulder is partly to blame for his recent struggles. Maybe the surgery and subsequent rehab will return him to his former glory. He’s just 29 years old after all.

On the other hand, there’s a perception—fair or not—that Sandoval doesn’t have the necessary work ethic. The Giants put him through a series of offseason conditioning exercises, dating back to 2009’s “Camp Panda,” but he always seemed to put the weight back on eventually.

Now that he’s landed a boatload of guaranteed cash from Boston, where’s his motivation to get in shape and back to peak performance?

Red Sox skipper John Farrell all but called Sandoval out this spring, via Masslive.com’s Christopher Smith:

So we generalized it with, “You need to come back in better shape,” which includes greater range, greater agility through the workout that we all witnessed this offseason, that work was being done. So to say that he has not met expectations, yeah, it’s not a flattering picture. We saw that. We’ve got to continue to work with him, get him to the point where he’s more efficient.

Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe put things more succinctly if less tactfully: “Mercy. Get a load of that gut.”

Now, Sandoval has a choice. Dig deep, rise from the ashes and augment his natural gifts with a renewed focus on fitness. Or, hammer his checks and slink off into the sunset as a well-paid, lifetime pariah in Beantown, a place that remembers its heroes and its goats in equal measure. 

Sandoval could still pull off the former. Unless the Sox are willing to eat his entire salary, it’s a safe bet he’ll remain in Boston for the foreseeable future. And a single bounce-back season followed by an October surge would soothe a lot of wounds and spike sales of panda hats.

Shaw is the man for now. But baseball, like life, frequently serves up second and third chances.

Sandoval is at a crossroads. Time and his own desire will reveal which path he takes.


All statistics current as of May 2 and courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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Pablo Sandoval Injury Update: Red Sox Star to Undergo Shoulder Surgery

The Boston Red Sox announced Monday that third baseman Pablo Sandoval will have surgery on his left shoulder, per Christopher Smith of MassLive.com.

The team has yet to provide a timetable for Sandoval’s return. However, the Boston Globe‘s Pete Abraham reported the prognosis may not be good:

The 29-year-old is in the second year of the five-year, $95 million deal he signed with the Red Sox in November 2014. He had a disappointing first season in Boston, hitting .245 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI, and his second season hasn’t been any better, with his weight becoming a talking point in spring training, per Abraham:

Travis Shaw beat out Sandoval for the starting job at third base ahead of the regular season, and as a result, Sandoval’s involvement with the Red Sox was minimal before the team placed him on the disabled list in April with a sore shoulder. Sandoval is 0-for-6 in his seven plate appearances, with his most memorable moment at the plate coming when the belt around his pants broke:

Since Shaw is hitting .322 with three home runs and 17 RBI in 25 games, Sandoval wasn’t likely to make it back into the starting lineup anytime soon even if he had been healthy.

Monday’s announcement will at least erase any doubt as to how hurt Sandoval is, and it explains in part why he had trouble earlier in the spring. Although this looks to be the end of a rough campaign, the two-time All-Star can now focus on his recovery and preparations for the 2017 season. 

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Travis Shaw Becoming Star After Being Thrown in Spotlight by Sandoval Benching

From the ashes of every tragedy, something good can arise.

It’s still too soon to call Pablo Sandoval‘s Boston Red Sox career a tragedy. But it’s past time to call Travis Shaw something good.

Since being thrust into the spotlight by Sandoval’s embarrassing benching and subsequent injury issues, Shaw has emerged from obscurity to become a budding star for Boston.

Shaw went 2-for-4 with a home run Sunday in the Red Sox’s 8-7 victory over the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. He’s now hitting .322 on the season with a .923 OPS, three homers and 17 RBI.

It’s early, to apply the obligatory caveat, but the Sox have seemingly solved their third-base quandary.

A ninth-round pick in the 2011 draft, Shaw had a nice big league debut in 2015, hitting .270 with 13 home runs in 65 games, mostly at first base.

Still, the 26-year-old entered spring training looking like a bench player at best, with Hanley Ramirez set to make the move to first and Sandoval ensconced at third.

Those two players, after all, signed with Boston for a combined $183 million prior to the 2015 season. Surely Boston was going to give them every opportunity to play and perform.

But when Sandoval arrived in camp visibly out of shape, the grumbling began. And when Shaw outperformed him in the Grapefruit Leaguehitting .469 to Sandoval’s .204 and playing superior defensethe grumbling increased to a dull roar.

In the end, manager John Farrell looked at the numbers on the stat sheet, not the figures on the players’ respective contracts, and handed the gig to Shaw.

“We’re all about evaluating and what’s best for our teamnot so much the better player, but what’s best for our team at the moment for us to begin the season,” Farrell said at the time, per MLB.com’s Ian Browne.

Translation: Don’t get too comfortable, kid. You proved it in spring, now it’s time to put up for real.

So far, so good.

Yes, it helped cement Shaw’s job security when Sandoval landed on the disabled list with a shoulder strain. But he’s played well enough to keep the job regardless and to reward his skipper’s results-based faith.

In fact, Shaw found himself penciled into each of Farrell’s first 20 lineups (and has subsequently appeared in the other five), as Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe highlighted:

Shaw isn’t the only reason the Red Sox’s offense is humming. Vintage performances from Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz in his swan-song season, plus the continued emergence of young stars Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts, have helped Boston pace the American League in runs scored.

Last season, however, third base was largely a black hole as Sandoval gobbled up the bulk of the starts (yeah, sorry, puns intended) and posted an anemic .245/.292/.366 slash line. That wasn’t the only reason the Red Sox limped to a second consecutive last-place finish in the AL East, but it didn’t help.

Now, they’ve got Shaw, who’s earning close to the league minimum but playing like a guy worth, well, Sandoval money.

The Red Sox need a much larger sample from Shaw before they deem him a permanent solution. Sizzling starts can quickly melt in the heat of summer.

And Sandoval is still just 29, with a proven track record as a postseason hero during his salad days with the San Francisco Giants. Boston is going to pay him through 2020 regardless, so unless he’s shipped out in a salary-eating deal, don’t be surprised if he gets another look at some point.

For now, however, the hot corner belongs to Shaw, who is putting in the necessary work, as ESPN.com’s Scott Lauber outlined:

Within the past week, Travis Shaw recognized a potentially troublesome trend. Opposing pitchers were attacking him with inside fastballs, believing he’s vulnerable to pitches in that location. And so, after he went hitless on Monday night, the young Boston Red Sox third baseman spent extra time in the batting cage on Tuesday making an adjustment to his swing.

That same day, Lauber noted, Shaw turned on an inside fastball from the Atlanta Braves‘ Matt Wisler and cranked it out for a three-run jack.

It’s one at-bat, the smallest possible sample. But it’s also an instructive anecdote. The league will adjust to even the biggest talents; the key is to adjust right back.

“He’s just a heady player,” Boston third-base coach Brian Butterfield said of Shaw, per Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “He’s a young guy that’s a little bit ahead of the curve mentally.”

Shaw is doing what he’s supposed to do. The results are there. And the Sox are rolling, having won seven of their last eight, including a three-game sweep of the archrival Yanks.

Not so long ago, third base was a pile of ashes in Beantown. One month into the 2016 season, it’s unequivocally something good.


All statistics current as of May 1 and courtesy of MLB.com and Baseball-Reference.com.

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Pablo Sandoval’s Ex-Trainer Says Red Sox 3B Has Eating Problem

Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval lost his starting job entering the 2016 season due in large part to weight issues, and the two-time All Star’s former trainer attributes it to an eating problem.

According to Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald, trainer Ethan Banning believes the three-time World Series champion needs what amounts to a “babysitter” to prevent him from continuing out-of-control eating habits:

I care about him greatly. But it’s a tough love. He needs to be smart enough to say there’s a problem. It’s like the alcoholic that won’t admit he’s an alcoholic: well, you can’t address that you’re an alcoholic if you don’t ever admit there’s a problem. He’s got to address that.

He’s proven to me and shown consistently that he’s got to have somebody like me holding his hand doing that. And it’s not an exercise thing, it’s an eating thing. Obviously exercise is an important factor in it, a very important factor, but eating is going to be the component that needs to be managed and monitored. We had a chef on staff that cooked all his meals.

Banning trained Sandoval prior to the 2011 and 2012 seasons during his time with the San Francisco Giants and said he helped Kung Fu Panda slim down after gaining 21 pounds in 21 days during a Christmas visit to Venezuela in 2011.

While Banning hasn’t worked with the 29-year-old veteran since 2012, he believes Sandoval will eventually commit to getting back in shape, per Drellich:

I think that he’s embarrassed right now. I think there’s going to come this moment that he’s going to show everybody that this is not who he is. … I don’t know that it’s going to be with me, but he’s going to hire somebody like that. I think he’s likely going to figure it out. But it’s not going to be this season, and likely not with the Red Sox, the way it looks.

Sandoval recently went on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder injury, but Travis Shaw had supplanted him as the starting third baseman before that.

The Venezuela native hit a disappointing .245 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI for the Red Sox last season, and he doesn’t have a hit thus far in 2016.

It is a significant fall from grace for a player who boasts a career batting average of .287 and is among the winningest players in baseball in terms of playoff success.

Sandoval has been and can be a star-caliber player, but if Banning’s assessment is correct, he will need help to return to that level.  


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Pablo Sandoval Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star’s Shoulder and Return

The Boston Red Sox will place third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list after he suffered a left shoulder strain. It is unclear when he will return to the lineup.

Continue for updates.

Sandoval Undergoes MRI 

Friday, April 15

Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski said Sandoval has “a lot going on with his shoulder,” per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. Dombrowski added Sandoval will see Dr. James Andrews and that surgery is an option.

On Wednesday, Sandoval said he woke up not having any feeling in his arm, which also happened to him in 2011, per Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald.

How Sandoval’s Absence Impacts Red Sox

Rob Bradford of WEEI reported Josh Rutledge will replace Sandoval on the 25-man roster. 

Sandoval, 29, is without a hit in six at-bats this season and lost his starting job to Travis Shaw. 

One of Boston’s major offseason signings prior to the 2015 campaign, Sandoval’s time in Boston has not gone to plan. He hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI last season while playing perhaps the worst defense of his career. FanGraphs‘ WAR formula graded it as his worst season by far.

“Every year I have to prove something to my teammates, to the fans, to everybody,” Sandoval said in March, per Scott Lauber of ESPN.com. “Why am I going to get mad? We are teammates, we’re playing good. It’s not my decision; it’s not [Shaw’s] decision. We’re going to keep playing and working hard.”

In all likelihood, this is as much a move for Sandoval’s mental health as it is anything. Manager John Farrell categorized it as a chance to “step away from the scrutiny,” per  of the Providence Journal.

The Red Sox aren’t going to see much impact on their on-field product given they weren’t using Sandoval much as it was.

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Pablo Sandoval Benching Is New Low in $95M Bust with Red Sox

When the Boston Red Sox signed Pablo Sandoval in the winter of 2014, their hope was surely that he would take his game to new heights.

Instead, Sandoval has gone down, down and down some more. And on Thursday morning, you could practically hear the THUD of him hitting bottom.

Signed for $95 million just 16 months ago, the word out of Red Sox camp is that Sandoval is no longer the club’s starting third baseman. As reported by Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Boston skipper John Farrell has handed that job to the upstart candidate, Travis Shaw.

In explaining himself, Farrell didn’t make things complicated:

Although this is an event that should be surprising, it’s not.

Sandoval entered spring training off a 2015 season that was several different shades of disastrous. The 29-year-old hit just .245 with a .658 OPS, marking the worst offensive season of his career. Per the advanced metrics, he also played some terrible defense. All together, Boston’s big offseason investment might have been in the worst everyday player in baseball.

The Red Sox have seen more of the same from Sandoval this spring. Though he’s shown off some decent power, he’s hit only .244. And as Ian Browne of MLB.com reported, Sandoval’s continued struggles on defense also had a hand in his new position on the depth chart.

For his part, Shaw clearly deserves his spot. Though his arrival in the big leagues last season wasn’t met with much fanfare, it resulted in a .270 average, an .813 OPS and 13 home runs in 65 games. He’s stayed warm this spring, hitting .333 with an .886 OPS.

Whether Shaw is really the answer the Red Sox seek at third base, though, remains to be seen.

The 25-year-old’s modest minor league numbers (.261 AVG, .803 OPS) suggest he’s hitting way over his head. And though he’s not totally out of water at third base, he fits better at first base. As R.J. Anderson wrote at CBS Sports, the Red Sox are banking more on Shaw’s “acumen for the game” than they are on his talent.

Still, there’s no blaming the Red Sox for rolling the dice on Shaw over Sandoval. Where the former earned his chance, the latter ran out of chances.

The Red Sox’s decision to sign Sandoval ahead of the 2015 season had “knee jerk” written all over it.

Boston was clearly desperate to patch up an offense that was one of the worst in the American League en route to a last-place finish in 2014, and Sandoval was coming off a red-hot run through the postseason with the San Francisco Giants that ultimately led to his third World Series ring.

Oh, but the red flags were there.

Sandoval’s dominant postseason obscured the reality that his offense was actually in a steady decline. There were also the ever-present concerns over Sandoval’s annual struggles with his weight, and his consistent defiance that his heft was actually a problem.

“I feel in shape,” he told MLB.com at one point. “Who cares what other people say? I’m here to do my job.”

If that was Sandoval’s attitude before his big payday, it raises the question of what assurance the Red Sox had that it wouldn’t be his attitude after his big payday.

Perhaps now-former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington decided to take what Sandoval told Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan in spring of 2013 to heart.

“I’ve got this year and next year to change all the things,” Sandoval said. “It’s going to take me a while, but I can do it. I know I can do it. You need to learn. You need to grow up. You need to step up and know the difference between what you can do and what you can’t.”

Sandoval’s timeline put him on track to start getting serious in 2015, just in time for his first season in Boston.

Instead, Sandoval never even bothered to try. He showed up to spring training with a boiler heard ’round the Internet, and failed to put concerns to rest by hitting just .259 with a .662 OPS in the exhibition season. Maybe “pathetic” is too strong, but that performance sure ended up being prophetic.

As the Red Sox were careening toward another last-place finish in the AL East, Sandoval’s facepalm-worthy season is one thing among many that led to Cherington’s ouster in August. In came Dave Dombrowski, and among his directives was that Sandoval spend the winter getting into better shape.

In January, the news was good. Farrell told Sean McAdam of CSN New England that Sandoval was 20 pounds lighter than he had been at the end of 2015. After the club’s signing of David Price and trades for Craig Kimbrel and Carson Smith, this was another bit of good news in an exciting hot-stove season for the Red Sox.

But then, this happened:

And then, this happened:

Which brings us to today, and what the heck the Red Sox are supposed to do with Sandoval now. 

The best option is trading him. A recent report from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe suggests the San Diego Padres may be interested in a deal. If so, they’re probably not the only team intrigued by taking a flier on a two-time All-Star and three-time champion who’s still on the good side of 30.

But as Sandoval goes, so goes his value. The only way the Red Sox are moving him for anything of value now is by eating a good chunk of the nearly $80 million he’s still owed, or if they agree to a bad contract swap.

If the Red Sox go through with keeping Sandoval on the pine, they don’t have much choice but to hope his benching lights a fire under him and inspires him to try to win back his starting role.

But there’s not much hope for this hope. Scott Lauber of ESPN.com wasn’t out of line when he recently scolded Sandoval for having thin skin. That’s something he’s demonstrated time and again. Rather than inspire him to ramp up his give-a-you-know-what meter, his benching may leave the Red Sox with a piece of mopey dead weight on their bench.

For now, choosing Shaw over Sandoval at third base is the best the Red Sox can make of a bad situation. And if Shaw continues to surprise them, that’s just another reason to buy into the notion that they can pull off a worst-to-first season in 2016.

If they’re lucky, Sandoval will either soon be gone or will ultimately find a way to be a part of it. If they’re unlucky, he’ll stay in a pit of his own making and see how deep it goes.


Regular-season stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked. Spring training stats courtesy of MLB.com.

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Travis Shaw Named Red Sox 3B over Pablo Sandoval: Latest Comments, Reaction

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell announced Thursday that Travis Shaw has won the starting job at third base over Pablo Sandoval

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe passed along word of the decision from Farrell, who met with both players Thursday morning to inform them of the decision.

“I’m not going to take this opportunity for granted,” Shaw said after learning of his spot in the starting lineup, per Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.

Shaw has outperformed Sandoval at the plate during spring training, hitting .333 with a .377 on-base percentage across 20 games. Sandoval has a .244 average and .279 OBP in 16 games.

That said, Farrell noted “defense became a deciding factor” in the final decision as well, per Britton.

Sandoval admitted “it’s the right decision to help the team win,” and because of that, he’s happy despite heading to the bench for the time being, according to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

However, Sandoval’s agent Rick Thurman didn’t agree, saying ““if you want to win, why leave the ferrari in the garage?” per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

While all of the on-field signs point to Shaw being the right choice, it’s still a bit surprising given the financial commitment the Red Sox made to Sandoval last offseason. Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post spotlighted the money still owed to the 29-year-old infielder:

Sandoval has provided almost no bang for that buck. He posted a career-low .292 OBP during his first season in Boston while hitting just 10 home runs. Pictures of him early in spring training this year became a viral sensation, as he looked out of shape.

Though the former San Francisco Giants star has never been a physical specimen, the extra weight started to have an impact on his ability to defend third base. His minus-11 Defensive Runs Saved figure last season tied the worst mark of his career, according to FanGraphs.

Looking ahead, the Red Sox would probably love to rid themselves of Sandoval, even if it meant eating a sizable portion of his remaining contract. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported Monday the San Diego Padres were scouting the third baseman.

Otherwise, they’re stuck with an extremely high-priced bench player for the foreseeable future. Shaw has been the better player throughout spring training, and he shined with 13 homers in just 65 games as a rookie last season, so the team will stick with him as long as he keeps slugging.

It’s been a rapid fall from grace for Sandoval, who won three World Series titles and got selected to the All-Star Game twice while with the Giants. Now, his future is a mystery as he prepares to watch the start of the new season from the dugout.


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Pablo Sandoval Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation Surrounding Red Sox Star

Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval is coming off a disappointing 2015 season and is battling with Travis Shaw to be the team’s starting option at the position, making Sandoval potentially expendable. 

Continue for updates.

Padres Potentially Interested in Acquiring Sandoval

Monday, March 28

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the San Diego Padres have had a scout in Florida “taking a close look at Pablo Sandoval, post-back injury.”

Cafardo added that it’s unclear if there’s more to the story, however.    

Nonetheless, there is a link between the Padres and Sandoval, as the team tried to sign the third baseman in 2014, per Cafardo. He also noted that San Diego is “open to trading veteran starter James Shields” and that the Red Sox have been linked to Shields, along with the Baltimore Orioles.

So it’s hard not to connect the dots on a potential Sandoval-for-Shields deal, although that’s clearly just speculation at this point. 

Sandoval struggled in 2015, hitting just .245 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI. And Shaw has pushed him during spring training to the point that the Red Sox still haven’t decided on a starter at third base, though they are expected to do so before Thursday, per Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If the Red Sox ultimately name Shaw the starter, Sandoval will instantly become an attractive trade chip for Boston, and more than just the Padres may take an interest in the veteran third baseman.


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