The Red Sox must have accidentally locked the ferrari in the garage.
Remember that whole Pablo Sandoval-James Shield swap idea because the San Diego Padres had so much interest in Sandoval? Yeah… about that….
I hear the Padres' rumored interest in Pablo Sandoval is overblown. They tried to sign him before, but not much appeal in that contract now.
— Dennis Lin (@sdutdennislin) April 1, 2016
It might have been an April Fools’ Day joke or it may have been overspeculation. Either way, that kind of makes it look like the swap will not happen any time soon. After all, even Shields had a 3.91 ERA in San Diego last year. Granted that is not what they were expecting for the money at such a pitcher’s park, it is not like going to Boston would do him much good. He would have to face DH’s instead of pitchers, stronger lineups and half of his games would be at Fenway Park — a huge hitter’s park. Not to mention the Sox would end up taking on more financial obligations.
Sandoval is starting the season on the Red Sox bench. Great. He only plays third base. When have the Red Sox ever used a bench spot on a guy who can only play third base and someone who played it poorly the year before? Can’t say it has in recent years.
The truth is, Sandoval did not have a particuarly bad spring. Travis Shaw was just, well, better. And he can play third, first and possibly even left field. But Brock Holt is in left field. Holt plays everywhere but that seems to be where he can serve the Red Sox best. And first base is Hanley Ramirez, whose spring performance both offensively and defensively gave Red Sox fans a reason to believe in him.
Making $17.6 mil, Sandoval will be the second most expensive bench player in baseball to Josh Hamilton. But the Los Angeles Angels are paying that money, not the Texas Rangers, who he actually plays for.
Sandoval will have to cut into Shaw’s reps at third because there is nothing else he can do. He no longer catches (but boy would that be a sight). And he never was a sharp first baseman. Like it or not, that’s life.