Today the Red Sox designated Pablo Sandoval for assignment, essentially ending his time in the Red Sox organization. And, while I know I’m in the minority on this…
I don’t really get it.
Oh, sure. Sandoval was vastly underperforming his contract. I’m not going to say he’s been an all-star during his time in Boston. But, here’s the thing. Neither are any of the players replacing him. And, no, I don’t count Brock Holt.
So, you now are stuck having to pay Sandoval's contract AND another player to actually play. So, you’re paying even more to get a player at about the level Panda was playing.
Why does this make sense to anyone?
Again, if Devers is just busting his way into the line-up a la Mookie Betts, I get it. Or if Dombrowski was on the phone right now trading for Jose Ramirez, I get it. I’m not about to play anyone just because they’re getting paid a lot of money. But, I am going to play someone with a proven track record when there isn’t anyone available who’s better.
Sure, some of the fill-ins have done well in spurts. But they generally remember who they are after a time or two. So, I suppose, if you can only play guys when they’re hot, and then replace them once they start to cool down even a little, you can do that. Not exactly the best way to make it through the season though.
I’m honestly not sure what happened to Panda during his time in Boston. For some reason fans decided he was just a publicity stunt, and really never gave him a chance. Sure, he was a big guy. And fans loved making fat jokes. But the Sox have had plenty of big guys who were beloved. It’s not like we expect all Red Sox players to look like Mookie Betts. Once Panda started showing the effects of injuries, he was doomed. The Sox fans never let him recover. While I didn’t get it, I can at least see what happened.
The team, I really don’t understand. Why the Red Sox benched Sandoval to start the 2016 season will always puzzle me. Travis Shaw in no way earned the job. He didn’t outperform Panda in any measurable way. Certainly not by enough for the unproven youngster to take a job away from a veteran. Which is why I assumed that the Sox traded Shaw away in the off-season. They knew Panda was the better option. But, they kept doing it again. Marrero kept getting playing time. As a defensive replacement, of all things, as he made error after error. John Farrell said things like “Pablo will still get at-bats” like he lost his job to a guy hitting .250. It’s puzzling.
And here we are with an even more puzzling move. Cutting ties altogether.
Maybe the Red Sox have a plan. Maybe there’s a player on the roster that can actually play better than Pablo could. I don’t know who that is.
I wonder if they do.