After two and a half brutal season in Boston, the Red Sox mercifully released Pablo Sandoval in July.
One of the last mistakes of the previous front office regime was handing Sandoval a 5-year, $95 million deal. He rewarded their generosity by showing up to camp in 2015 out of shape and unprepared. He hit .245 with a .658 OPS and 10 home while rating was one of the least valuable players in baseball with a -0.9 WAR. It was the worst season of his career to that point, yet unfortunately, the decline was only beginning.
Sandoval missed almost the entire 2016 season due to injury, appearing in a mere three games where he tallied six plate appearances without a hit. The only memorable moment from any of those trips to the plate was when he busted his belt on a swing-and-miss, producing a viral video that would prove to be among the most embarrassing moments from his tenure with the Red Sox that was littered with low points.
While he returned to start the 2017 season, Sandoval was somehow even worse than he was in his first year in Boston. He spent a lengthy stint on the disabled list that seemed more about getting him out of the way. When faced with the scenario of being forced to active him when his rehab clock ran out, Boston instead released Sandoval.
Boston remains on the hook for the $49.8 million left on his contract at the time of his release. He’s still clogging up their payroll but at least he no longer takes up a spot on the 25-man roster. A replacement-level player would be an upgrade over Sandoval, therefore releasing him was addition by subtraction. Red Sox fans were thankful to finally be able to wash their hands of this massive failure.