Red Sox: Just how bad was the Pablo Sandoval signing?

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 31: Pablo Sandoval
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 31: Pablo Sandoval /

The signing of Pablo Sandoval could go down as one of the worst signings in Boston Red Sox history when factoring in the moves that ensued.

No one in Boston utters the name Pablo Sandoval without the squirmy hide-back-in-your-hole type reaction. “Bust” would be calling it kindly. Panda signed a major five-year, $95 million deal with the Boston Red Sox prior to the 2015 season.

After not entirely performing in his inaugural season with Boston, his second season was a complete nightmare in which he did not even register a single hit. Let’s not even get started with his third season. His exit was anything but a shock to Red Sox Nation.

Why is Sandoval being considered a bigger bust than David Price amidst his most recent string of excuses for not pitching? When Sandoval got the approval of GM Dave Dombrowski, it signaled the end of the Travis Shaw era. Sandoval ended up slashing .212/4/12/0 in 37 games with Boston last season. It also happened to be the first year that Shaw hit 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI’s slashing a .273/31/101/10 line over 144 games. Shaw so far in 2018 is slashing .240/9/23/0.

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Why did the trade hurt even more? Shaw got shipped to Milwaukee in a mega-package deal for Tyler Thornburg. While we know that Shaw has hit 40 home runs and 124 RBI’s with 10 stolen bases, what has Thornburg done in Bean Town thus far? Zilch. That’s right, not a typo, zero. Thornburg has yet to appear in a game for Boston.

Two of the other prospects that got traded also have done very well. Mauricio Dubon is crushing AAA in 2018 and did spectacularly in 2017. Josh Pennington also had a good 2017 season and has started on the right foot so far in ’18.

The trade for Thornburg was only precipitated by the choice of Dombrowski to keep Sandoval playing third base for the Red Sox. If the team were able to do things differently there’s no chance they wouldn’t do a mulligan. The only silver lining on the release of the Panda was that it offered Rafael Devers an opportunity to quickly rise through the farm system. He did not leave us unimpressed. Thank God.

Some will argue that there were worse moves, including the addition of adding Price for the amount he made. Some were originally debating if Chris Sale was the right move even after getting robbed not winning the Cy Young Award in 2017. Hard to say that he hasn’t earned his spot on the team with him being the only consistent starter on the Sox staff.

One thing is for sure, if the Red Sox have to see Sandoval in a game anytime soon, you can expect there to be a major raining of boos similar to those heard when the Sox faced Johnny


Damon. Too bad it’s not happening in 2018.

Next: The Red Sox situation with Blake Swihart

The only one laughing is Sandoval as the Sox are still on the hook for a majority of his 2019 salary as the Giants are criminally only paying for the Major League minimum. and also responsible for his buy out in 2020.