Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Red Sox Hot Stove (11/12) - Pablo Sandoval

Will there be Pandamonium in Boston?

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Wednesday that the Giants and Red Sox are the favorites to land free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval, but “unless [Boston] makes a big play, [San Francisco is] the favorite.” Rosenthal also report that the Red Sox are weighing other options. Hanley Ramirez has been widely reported to be one of the options the Sox are considering to take over duties at third base next season.

Third base was an abysmal pit of despair for the Red Sox in 2014. They started with Middlebrooks, who got hurt. (Whether that's a good or bad thing is debatable.) They moved Bogaerts over shortly before his offensive collapse began in earnest*. So there's little doubt that Pablo Sandoval would represent a likely significant upgrade to the lineup over what they had in 2014. But. The fact is, he's been a very good player in two of his six full Major League seasons and a slightly better than average player in three of them, including the last two. As he would be a significant upgrade, I would not necessarily have a problem with them bringing him in, but I don't love his game** and definitely don't love it as a six-year contract at pretty big money.

So if it were up to me, this would not be option number one. But, as long as the years and dollars are not too outrageous, I can live with it. Certainly, that would be a big improvement expected at one position.

* - Obviously, there are many who consider those two items to have a cause-and-effect relationship rather than just correlative. I'm not willing to go there. I'd need some compelling evidence to believe that Bogaerts was dreadful because he was at third and not just while he was at third. Just the fact of the performance does not qualify as prima facie evidence to me, and there's nothing else I'm aware of. But there's no question that he was dreadful while he was at third.

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