The Boston Red Sox opened their checkbook and signed shortstop Hanley Ramirez (who they will turn into a left fielder) and World Series MVP third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Ramirez received a four-year deal worth $88 million and Sandoval is walking away with a five-year deal worth $95 million (with a sixth-year team option for $17 million).
Sandoval’s post-season success is the reason teams were hoping to land ‘Kung Fu Panda’. He’s a career .343 in the post-season with a .400+ batting average in the World Series…the best in baseball history with at least 150 postseason at-bats.
Sandoval is a nice asset to have in the playoffs, but is he worth $95 million on team who drastically needs pitching?
Before I go into Sandoval’s signing, let me touch on Boston signing Hanley Ramirez. I love the financial aspect of Ramirez’s contract. Boston got a deal since he has been hurt off and on in recent years. Xander Bogaerts is the future at shortstop and they just signed Sandoval to play third, so Ramirez can’t play there. Boston has a ton of outfielders with Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. all needing spots. Ramirez isn’t a very good shortstop at his current age and maybe he can stay healthy playing in left. A few more trades need to be made before his signing really makes a ton of baseball sense.
Okay, now let’s talk about Sandoval.
Going into the post-season, the rumor was that San Francisco was thinking about cutting ties with Sandoval after the season and going after Chase Headley. They were always butting heads with him concerning his weight issues. He’s officially listed as weight 245 pounds, but that is being extremely generous. He would come into Spring Training overweight year after year. He does end up losing weight, but it all comes back. It’s something that he can’t seem to control well. Now you’re putting him in an area of the country with more Dunkin’ Donuts than anywhere else?!
I’m not a fan of giving heavy players large contracts. Prince Fielder and C.C. Sabathia are both dealing with injuries that might have been caused from playing overweight for many years. Sabathia lost a bunch of weight before last season, but the damage may have already been done.
I love Sandoval’s raw talent, but I don’t see Boston making the postseason. For a team to get the most out of signing a guy like Sandoval, they need to be a perennial title contender like Detroit or St. Louis. If Boston doesn’t land a big time free agent pitcher (or two) this offseason, they could end up near the bottom of the AL East once again.
I predict Sandoval will not finish out his contract in Boston. I don’t see if ending well for Boston.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.