After a dismal 2015 season, and a poor showing in spring training, Pablo Sandoval has lost his job as Boston's starting third baseman; at least for now. Travis Shaw will step in for the Red Sox after he hit .333/.379/.519 in 58 plate appearances. The 25-year old had a surprisingly productive 2015 campaign, and it would appear that he now has the chance to seize the hot corner heading into 2016.
While Sandoval can't truly be happy with this decision, at this point he's not letting that on to the media.
"We talked about it. I'm happy with the decision. They made the decision. It's the right decision to help the team win. I'm going to be happy. I'm going to be ready on the bench, get ready for anything. I'm going to be ready during the season to do my job.
I just look at is as what is best for the team. I don't look at it in a selfish place. I look at it what is best for the team. If it is going to help win for the team, I'm happy."
Being owed $75 million over the next four years can certainly help ease the pain of losing your starting job, but Sandoval would obviously rather be on the field everyday. Of course, this isn't the first time he's been relegated to the bench; as he lost his job to Juan Uribe in 2010 after his weight became a problem.
This was likely a tough decision to make given the money committed to Sandoval, but to Boston's credit, they understood what needed to be done.
Good for the Red Sox for understanding the concept of "sunk cost." Just because they're paying Sandoval doesn't mean they have to play him.— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) March 31, 2016
The big question now is what will the Red Sox do with Sandoval should Shaw prove capable of handling every day duties at third?
"There will always be those clamoring for a trade of Sandoval, though that's as difficult as ever to do. All the money remaining on his contract, all the questions about his defense and the complete lack of leverage the Red Sox have at the moment combine to make Sandoval one of the game's most unmovable assets. If there is a team willing to take a run at him, Boston would either need to eat a majority of the remaining money on Sandoval's deal or take back a similarly unsavory contract in return."
The Padres were reportedly scouting Sandoval, and the Red Sox have been linked to San Diego in their pursuit of a starting pitcher. It's unclear if anything is brewing between the two teams, but they would seemingly match up well in a potential deal. However for now, Sandoval is a $17.6 million back-up third baseman on the Boston Red Sox.