Weighing The Options of Pablo Sandoval
So it came out last week via the Boston Herald that the San Francisco Giants have discussed internally the possibility of reuniting with Current Boston Bench Rider Pablo Sandoval. That was proven to be false when Giants GM Bobby Evans said he was not aware of any intention to reach out, and hopes Pablo is happy in Boston. WOOPS.
But here's the thing...I could not be more onboard with this idea.
Pablo has had a rough go of it these past two years in Boston, and looking at the remaining three years on his contract doesn't inspire confidence. In the 2015 offseason, just months after catching the final out of the Giants 3rd World Series Championship in five years, Pablo decided it was time for a change in scenery. “It was a tough decision for me,” Sandoval said. “It took me a long time to be sure that I was going to make the right decision. The Giants gave me the opportunity to be in the big leagues, opened the door, taught me how to respect the game... I wanted a new challenge. I put that choice to be here in Boston. I need a new challenge. . . . I came here to be in the postseason again."
Sandoval signed a mammoth 5-year deal, totaling $95 million dollars with the Sox, averaging $19 Million dollars a year for luxury tax reasons. As kind as his words were to San Francisco fans, they were also a bit of a kick in the teeth. The most interesting part of this story is that Pablo Sandoval turned down the Giants IDENTICAL FUCKING OFFER. In 2015 at Spring Training in Fort Myers, Pablo changed his story a bit. "It wasn't hard [leaving San Francisco]. If you want me around, you make the effort to push and get me back." SICK BURN.
So the Sox have already spent around $38 million dollars for... essentially nothing. Pablo's only real year in Boston was awful, posting a .242 average, 10 home runs, and 47 RBIs. To give you an idea of his level of play, Sandoval had a -2.9 Wins Against an Average player. $19 million dollar for a dude underperforming your bench is not great. In his 2 years in Boston Pablo has amassed 115 hits, which has cost the Red Sox almost $300,000 per base knock.... That's awful.
Maybe I should clarify, I love the idea of the Red Sox getting rid of Sandoval. I do not love the idea of the Giants reuniting with Panda. If the Giants acquisition of Eduardo Nunez didn't turn out the way it did, then maybe I would be open to it, but I think they need to see where Nunez can take them at the Hot Corner. The Giants have a third baseman, if anyone tells you otherwise you have my permission to tell them "No."
So where can you send Pablo? Who has the money or the need for a guy at third, who used be a top tier talent? Two places stick out to me as viable options, if they want to shell the dough out. First off is San Diego, where Matt Kemp spent what appeared to be his "out to pasture" days after a great start to his career in San Diego. Matt Kemp grew into his role as the big bat in the lineup and for a time, Jon Jay, Wil Myers and Matt Kemp were a solid 1-2-3 for the Padres in a stacked NL West. Matt Kemp is a blueprint for what Sandoval could become, a solid 3-Hole hitter or Cleanup Guy, on a team ready to rebuild. Kansas City just lost Kendrys Morales, and Sandoval is a great option to fill that void. Sandoval's fielding is the one thing that would keep him from going back to the National League, so serving as DH would remedy those worries. You could argue that Sandoval would make a great DH replacement for David Ortiz. To that I say, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?! IT'S GOING TO BE HANLEY. IT WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE HANLEY.
This is not a matter of whether or not Pablo can return to form after a rough two seasons, I’m sure he can, but I don’t think he can do that in Boston. I’ve talked about this before and I don’t mean to sound like a Boston-elitist, but playing for a team like the Red Sox is not as easy as playing in other cities. San Francisco has rallied around their team, celebrating their intricacies. When Matt Duffy was traded this season to Tampa Bay for Pitcher Matt Moore, the fans mourned the loss of his Cat’s Instagram. Red Sox fans don’t do that. We expect you to “Do Your Job” as our Lord and Savior Bill Bellichick said. So when you get fined for liking photos on instagram IN THE MIDDLE OF A GAME, well… we don’t take kindly to that.
And then there’s the weight issue. Now look, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks, but if you are physically incapable of doing your job that pays you millions of dollars, you might have a problem. In san Fran the Giants had to ban room service on road trips to assuage Sandoval’s appetite. It was also rumored that the big difference between Boston and San Fran’s identical offers was a weight clause, where San Fran had one and Boston did not. In his career Sandoval would comment on his weight loss saying “I did it to show my maturity.” One instance in 2012 Sandoval said, “It’s important what I think, what they think: my coach, my trainers. If they think I should lose weight, I’m going to lose it. The way I feel, I feel great… You know what? I’m focused on baseball. I’m ready to play. I’m focused right now on the rest of the team and that’s it.”
Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy didn’t necessarily buy that… ““There comes a time when you don’t want to hear it, you need action. That’s got to happen now, which has this past week. He worked hard, he’s getting it down. That has to be consistent, it can’t be for three or four days or a week. It’s got to be for the season. That’s what he needs to do, that’s what we want to see and he knows that’s what he needs to do. He’s a vital part of this team. As we’ve seen, just a couple years ago, when he’s not quite in the condition he needs to be it’s hard to perform to your capability.”
Carl Crawford made the same mistake signing with Boston and the Dodgers were there to bail the Sox out. It wasn’t the smartest of moves on their part, and might be the reason they are “millions od dollars in debt”, but it got Crawford’s dead salary off the Sox payroll. It also got the toxic energy of a bad signing out of Fenway and allowed the Sox front office and fans to move on to better things. The Sox need to cut bait on Sandoval, it’s not worth the money and time to see if he can turn it around. In the words of Bruce Bochy, “You need action.” Since 2012 Sandoval hasn’t been able to do that.
And now, because I am legally obligated....