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Red Sox designate Pablo Sandoval for assignment

Sandoval signed a 5-year, $95 million deal with Boston in 2014.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox have designated third baseman Pablo Sandoval for assignment, according to a team announcement.

Sandoval, who turns 31 next month, has been one of the biggest disappointments in baseball since signing a 5-year, $95 million contract with Boston as a free agent after the 2014 season. He has appeared in just 161 games in that span, hitting .237/.286/.360 with 14 homers while missing almost the entire 2016 season and most of this year with injuries.

Sandoval was supposed to be the long-term answer for the Red Sox at third base at the time of his signing, but his struggles and injuries have led to the club having a large hole at the position this year. Boston is known to be looking for third base help in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, especially after today’s news and yesterday’s decision to release Jhonny Peralta from his minor-league contract.

Boston is still responsible for paying Sandoval through the 2020 season, being owed $18.6 million in 2018 and 2019 and $17 million in 2020 before a $17 million option or $5 million buyout kicks in for 2021. The team has seven days to trade, release or outright him, though he is very likely to clear waivers due to his albatross contract and weak performance.

At the time of his signing, Sandoval was a 2-time All-Star and 3-time World Champion who had hit .294/.346/.465 in seven seasons with the Giants. He was pursued by both the Giants and Padres in free agency, but ultimately decided to head east and pursue a new challenge in the American League.