Can Pablo Sandoval become a valuable asset for the Boston Red Sox this offseason?
After losing two out of three to the New York Yankees, the Red Sox completed a series sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. With Mookie Betts leading the way with three home runs, the Red Sox scored sixteen in total. Today proved once again why Boston will be home to an elite offense for years to come.
Believe it or not, the series sweep is not the only piece of good news that we in Red Sox Nation received this weekend. However, before we get into the good news, let us take a moment to remember spring training, in particular, the spring training experience of one player: Pablo Sandoval.
For Red Sox fans, spring training through the month of April came full of Pablo Sandoval moments like this:
When Sandoval showed up to Fort Myers looking like he did in the picture above, Red Sox fans reacted with a hearty laugh. After that came the headache. And then the realization that he had no chance to be the team’s starter at third base. Shorty after, to the surprise of no one, Travis Shaw replaced Sandoval as the team’s fourth infielder.
Then, after a shoulder strain, only thirteen days into the month of April, Sandoval earned a spot on the 15-day disabled list. On May 2 he had surgery, thus putting a tragic end to what promised to be a terrible season.
Now, after three months of rehab in Florida, The Panda seems to be doing surprisingly well. According to a new report, he has lost 15 pounds since the surgery.
"“He’s lost 15 pounds and continues to go through baseball activities,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said. “He’s working hard five, six days a week at the facility in Fort Myers. We’ll see him towards the end of this trip in Tampa. Both he and Carson Smith will join us when we’re at the Trop.”"
Hey, that’s good news, I think. After all, we’re stuck with him – he signed a 5-year $90 million contract in 2014, with a sixth-year $17 million option or a $5 million buyout.
While many Red Sox fans, myself included, have no interest in seeing Sandoval anywhere near the Red Sox dugout, an in shape Panda is an interesting asset to have this offseason. A two time All-Star and three time World Series Champion, an in shape Sandoval must have some value, right?
If you’re Dave Dombrowski, Sandoval is an interesting card to have in your back pocket. A team could pick up Sandoval at minimal risk for close to nothing. Dombrowski could use him to tip the scales in a trade down the road, and he probably will. Most likely, that is what’s going through Sandoval’s mind; he knows that there is no place for him on this team.
Shaw has solidified his place in the starting line-up, and, when it happens, the highly anticipated debut of Yoan Moncada will make Sandoval a costly benchwarmer. After David Ortiz retires, it is more likely than not that Hanley Ramirez will move to DH, Shaw to first, and Moncada will take over at third.
The former World Series MVP is trying to make himself an attractive trade option for teams and, if he keeps doing what he’s been doing, it just might work.