As amazing as it sounds, the Boston Red Sox may have a team willing to trade for third baseman Pablo Sandoval: the San Francisco Giants.
Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reported that, according to a baseball source, “at least internally, the Giants have considered a reunion with third baseman Pablo Sandoval.” While Drellich holds on to hope that the deal could be done, he added that “unless the trade partner takes on significant money or sends back worthwhile players, [the Red Sox] don’t seem to have a good reason to trade Sandoval. His value is too low, and the only way for his stock to grow is for him to get back on the field and play well.”
For some Red Sox Nation members, this rumor brings about the old Jim Carrey reference: So, you’re telling me there’s a chance!
Before Boston breaks out into much rejoicing, there is a long road ahead of any trade being made for Sandoval. That’s even if the Red Sox want to deal the $95 million disappointment.
Sandoval’s contract is absolutely ridiculous for the amount of production that he’s created for the Red Sox. He has $54.8 million still to come to him after signing that deal back in the winter of 2014. Within a Red Sox uniform, Sandoval looked nothing like the two-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion that he was with the Giants. He hit just .245 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in his first season with Boston. Surgery to his shoulder kept Sandoval out of almost the entire 2016 season.
So, why doesn’t Dave Dombrowski, the current Red Sox president of baseball operations, just throw Sandoval back to the Giants? The Red Sox don’t have anyone to replace him at third base, as of yet. Travis Shaw had a great opportunity last season, but his .242 batting average didn’t help the cause. Yoan Moncada, one of the hottest prospects in all of baseball, was brought up near the end of last season; however, he still needed work to be judged as MLB quality.
All of the recent attention has been about pitching and replacing the designated hitter spot, after David Ortiz retired. The Red Sox might either pay for a free agent to be a DH or a first baseman, sharing duties with Hanley Ramirez. Another option could be the comeback of Sandoval in the DH role, but that would still put third base into question. Either way, it’s not just a simple adjustment to make.
Red Sox Nation should also think of a trade through the Giants’ perspective. Are they really willing to eat that huge contract, themselves? Quite possibly, the only way that the Giants move players in exchange for Sandoval is that the Red Sox would have to be willing to chow down on a big part, maybe even the majority, of that hefty contract. If that’s the case, maybe the Red Sox would want to make Sandoval produce a profit on that digestive investment.
Besides, the Giants already have Eduardo Nunez playing third base. He hit .288 last season, although he went from .296 with the Minnesota Twins before dropping to .269 after the trade to the National League. Still, even though Nunez will be a free agent in 2018, his value will not come close to dictating a contract like the one Sandoval currently holds. And, Nunez’s .973 fielding percentage at third base makes Sandoval’s 2015 percentage of .949 look like a joke.
Nobody’s laughing in Boston about that.
Maybe the rumor is true. Maybe the Red Sox could trade Sandoval away to the Giants. Maybe the New York Yankees will lose all of their money and have to close up shop on the franchise for life, too. Red Sox Nation should remember that the rumor said that the trade talks were internal, remaining within the confines of the Giants’ offices. Even if the Red Sox are able to make a deal, it would still cost them possibly more than what they would get in return, as Sandoval hasn’t produced much of any trade worth. More than likely, the rumor will stay just that. Who knows, though?