Boston Red Sox rumors reveal the return of Pablo Sandoval. After missing most of the 2016 MLB season, it appears that Sandoval will be competing in Spring Training to start at third base again. A report by USA Today already suggested that would be the case when the Red Sox traded Travis Shaw to the Milwaukee Brewers for reliever Tyler Thornburg. Now, photos of a much slimmer Sandoval have appeared on social media.
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) December 6, 2016
It looks like Sandoval has taken his offseason workouts very seriously and that he is ready to play in Major League Baseball again. Following the 2014 MLB season he spent with the San Francisco Giants, where Sandoval won a third World Series title, he entered free agency with the chance to make a lot of money. The Red Sox came calling, offering Sandoval a deal that would pay him roughly $18 million a season for the next six years.
In 2015, Sandoval posted a 0.245 batting average with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in 505 plate appearances. It wasn’t what fans were hoping to see from a big free agent signing, and Sandoval was often called out-of-shape on social media. It got even worse when he showed up in worse physical condition for Spring Training in 2016.
Following the struggles Pablo Sandoval had during Spring Training, Travis Shaw became the starting third baseman, and the Red Sox never looked back. Sandoval would only see six at-bats during the entire season and the front office kept a player with a $17.6 millions salary out of sight. It may have turned into a wake-up call for the former National League All-Star.
There have been quite a few Boston Red Sox rumors since Game 7 of the World Series, with most of them centering around the team acquiring more talent in free agency. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Red Sox dealt four prospects, including Yoan Moncada, to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for All-Star starting pitcher Chris Sale. Sale immediately gives the starting rotation a boost, joining Cy Young winners Rick Porcello and David Price as possibly the best rotation in the AL East.
The Red Sox have also been linked to many players on offense this offseason, including free agents Edwin Encarnacion and Mark Trumbo. These moves would be to replace David Ortiz in the lineup, as the All-Star designated hitter decided to retire after the 2016 MLB season. This has left a big hole in the middle of the batting order that the front office is trying to fill.
Now the question becomes whether Pablo Sandoval can get back to being the player that made him a star for the San Francisco Giants. Known as a clutch hitter in the postseason, Sandoval had a knack for coming up big during crucial situations. Some even used the term “clutch” to describe what he was able to routinely do in the postseason. It is that spark that earned him the long-term deal from the Red Sox in the first place. His current workout routine and flattering photos on social media may indicate he is ready to play at a high level again.
During the 2011 MLB season, Pablo Sandoval posted a 0.315 batting average with a 0.909 OPS. He had 52 extra base hits and 70 RBIs to his credit, all while playing well at third base. Over 869 regular season games during his time with the San Francisco Gants, Sandoval had a combined 0.294 average that would look really good with his new team. While Boston Red Sox rumors continue to link the team to other big name free agents, the biggest story might be that Sandoval is ready to contribute and possibly take over at third base again.
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]