Red Sox Keeping Xander Bogaerts, Pablo Sandoval, Or Both?

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Jul 28, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher

James Shields

(33) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2) James Shields For Pablo Sandoval

After that first suggestion, the second one sounds, perhaps, more reasonable.

Cafardo said regarding Shields and Sandoval, “Two bad contracts. Around the deadline there was speculation this had been discussed. ‘It makes too much sense, so it won’t happen,’ said one veteran scout. The Padres wanted Sandoval last offseason and offered more than the Red Sox and Giants. Third base is a tough position to fill, so why wouldn’t the Padres still have some interest?” Cafardo also suggests that Holt or Shaw could replace Sandoval at third for the move to make sense.

Whether you feel that the Red Sox got what they paid for in Sandoval or not, Holt or Shaw have looked like much better options on defense. The question would be the bats. Shaw’s sample-size is pretty small, with only 15 games and 36 at-bats, and Holt’s only hitting .228 in the last 30 games. Ironically, Sandoval is the one just below Holt, with .219. Will their production be higher than Sandoval’s with more playing time. At this point, many of Red Sox Nation would be willing to take the chance.

Especially with Shields coming to Boston in return. Or would they?

After clearing waivers, Shields sits in the Padres starting rotation with a record of 8-4, a 3.75 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 24 starts. The 10-year veteran also has another $63 million guaranteed to him for three years with a $16 million team option in 2019. He can also opt out after 2016 from any club he’s with at the time. Sandoval has $72.4 million coming to him, with a $17 million team option in 2020. That year, Sandoval will be 33 years old. Shields is already 33.

Less money to pay; more risk on a player who only plays every fourth or fifth game. Shields’ days of becoming a dominant pitching ace are likely gone, but is there enough coming back to the Red Sox? Nobody except Henry Owens is a starter for Boston with a lower ERA than Shields, and Owens has only started two games. Something to ponder.