On Thursday, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell announced that third baseman Pablo Sandoval will begin the season on the bench.
For Sandoval, it was the latest stumble in what’s been a rough tenure thus far with the Red Sox.
Since signing a five-year, $95 million contract with the Red Sox last year, Sandoval has seen his batting numbers plummet, while he’s struggled defensively and twice shown up to spring training out of shape.
Sandoval’s decision to join the Red Sox is looking worse and worse, especially considering he could have stayed with the San Francisco Giants for more money.
Last spring, the former San Francisco Giant told Bleacher Report that he turned down more money from the Giants because they were “disrespectful” during his negotiations, particularly to his agent:
“I knew early in spring training last year I was going to leave. They didn’t respect my agent. Contract talks, everything. The way Brian Sabean (Giants general manager) talked to my agent.”
“The Giants made a good offer, but I didn’t want to take it. I got five years (and $95 million) from Boston. I left money on the table in San Francisco… It is not about money. It is about how you treat the player.”
After helping the Giants win the World Series, the Giants reportedly offered Sandoval a five-year $95 million contract, but expressed willingness to pay him $100 million. According to Sandoval, that offer wasn’t good enough because they were disrespectful.
Sandoval’s agent also isn’t too happy about the recent benching on the Red Sox:
Not only did Sandoval turn down more money, he likely turned down a better fit. Affectionately known as “Panda” in San Francisco, Sandoval was a fan favourite and a dangerous hitter, too. Now, in Boston, Sandoval is an expensive backup who likely draws the ire of fans for his lacklustre play and approach to conditioning.
Of course, fit can’t be discounted, and if Sandoval felt unwanted in San Francisco, then moving to another team was the right move. But so far, it’s difficult to say that Boston, specifically, has been the better choice.
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