After two and a half seasons, Pablo Sandoval has played his final game for the Boston Red Sox.
The team announced Friday that the 30 year old third baseman had been designated for assignment after playing just 32 games for them this season, batting a career-low .212 in between injuries and rehab assignments. On the field, he committed five errors in 29 games at the hot corner.
Sandoval was most recently with the Pawtucket Red Sox, where he was putting up similar numbers to those he had in the majors.
The move doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as the Sox were expected to part ways with the 2012 World Series MVP, who missed nearly all of the 2016 season due to a shoulder injury and had a career marred with issues regarding his weight and commitment to training.
Before he had surgery on his left shoulder in 2016, he had already lost his job at third to Travis Shaw, now with the Milwaukee Brewers, and struggled to hold onto the position this season despite getting in better shape and dedicating himself more to the game over the off-season as Deven Marrero and Tzu-Wei Lin, who was called up straight from the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, have impressed both on the field and at the plate.
The Red Sox had also signed veteran infielder Jhonny Peralta to a minor league deal at the Triple-A level, though he was released a day before the Sandoval decision.
The team now has 10 days to either trade Sandoval or outright release him.
Sandoval signed a five year, $95 million deal with Boston in Dec. 2014, a signing which, along with Carl Crawford, goes down as one of the worst returns on an investment in the club’s recent history. According to USA Today Sports, the Red Sox will owe the third baseman about $48.65 million for the remainder of his contract.
At the time of his signing, Sandoval was coming off his third World Series title in seven seasons with the San Francisco Giants. Known by fans as “Panda,” Sandoval had been a fan favorite in the Bay Area, going .294 with 106 home runs and 462 RBIs during his tenure.
At the time, Sandoval told reporters he had come to Boston “for a new challenge,” but in the end, it appears it was a challenge too great for the 30 year old, who now will look to continue his career elsewhere.