Former Red Sox bust Pablo Sandoval isn’t done with baseball yet
It’s been nearly five years since the Boston Red Sox washed their hands of Pablo Sandoval but their former third baseman isn’t done with baseball yet. The Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League announced that they’ve signed the two-time MLB All-Star.
The Red Sox signed Sandoval in free agency prior to the 2015 season. The three-time champion and former World Series MVP was viewed as one of the top position players on the market at the time, which landed him a lucrative 5-year, $95 million deal. That contract quickly turned into one of the worst in franchise history.
Sandoval hit a disappointing .245/.292/.366 in his only full season with the Red Sox. He was being paid to be star but his -0.5 WAR placed him among the worst position players in baseball.
Shoulder surgery ended Sandoval’s 2016 season after six hitless at-bats. He returned the following season but lasted only 32 games before the Red Sox designated him for assignment.
After being banished form Boston, Sandoval was picked up by the San Francisco Giants, his original team that he enjoyed the only productive years of his career with. He reinvented himself as a pinch-hitter and part-time corner infielder for the Giants until the 2020 season. He joined the Atlanta Braves for their playoff push late in the season but failed to make an impact.
Sandoval played in 69 games for the Braves last season, hitting a meager .178. Atlanta traded him to Cleveland to offset some of the salary they were taking in by acquiring Eddie Rosario. Sandoval was released immediately and he sat out the rest of the season.
His 14-year MLB career concludes with a .278/.330/.443 slash line. He hit 153 home runs and drove in 639 RBI. The Kung Fu Panda shined on the postseason stage where he owned a career .338 average with six homers and 20 RBI in 42 playoff games.
The 35-year-old’s MLB career appears to be over but his passion for the game hasn’t faded. Sandoval will attempt to keep his career alive in the Mexican League. Signing with a team in a foreign league isn’t uncommon for veteran players who wash out of the big leagues.
Former Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez recently announced his retirement from baseball. He hadn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but was still considered an active player since he spent the 2021 season in the Mexican League. Manny Ramirez “retired” in order to avoid a second PED suspension, only to resurface overseas in Japan.
It’s possible that a successful year in Mexico could lead to an MLB team giving Sandoval another chance but considering his age and that he hasn’t been an above replacement-level player in years, that appears to be a long shot.
Red Sox fans have nothing but bitter memories when it comes to Sandoval but his overall career should be considered a success and he’s earned the opportunity to prolong it with any club willing to give him a roster spot.