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Breaking Down All The Dollars Red Sox Paid To Pablo Sandoval

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Barring an unlikely scenario in which Pablo Sandoval decides that he wants to become a full-time minor league baseball player, “Panda Watch” is officially over in Boston.

The Red Sox designated Sandoval for assignment on Friday morning, bringing an unceremonious end to one of the greatest free-agent failures in team history.

Looking only at Sandoval’s body of work with the Red Sox, it’s unfathomable that such a player could have ever warranted a $95 million contract. Yet prior to becoming a free agent in 2014, Sandoval was close to being a .300 hitter with good power and decent-enough defense. His penchant for performing in the biggest spots — with three championships and a World Series MVP Award on his resume — added to his value.

As we now know, of course, that value was only imaginary. In Boston, he was closer to being a .200 hitter than a .300 hitter, his defense was abysmal, and he could hardly get or stay on the field to even try to live up to that contract.

To fully put Sandoval’s failings in perspective, consider that Carl Crawford — Carl Crawford! — posted better numbers in Boston than Sandoval did, and that’s despite only being a member of the Red Sox for a season-and-a-half.

CRAWFORD, 2011-12:
161 games, 162 hits, .260 BA, .711 OPS, 39 2B, 9 3B, 14 HR, 75 RBI

SANDOVAL, 2015-17:
161 games, 136 hits, .237 BA, .646 OPS, 27 2B, 1 3B, 14 HR, 59 RBI

The fact that they both played the same exact number of games for Boston is proof that a higher power exists. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the balance in the universe at this precise moment.

So, now that the major decision has been made regarding Sandoval, it appears as though his work with the Red Sox is finished. For that effort, the Red Sox will end up paying him $92 million when it’s all said and done. That’s $17 million per year from 2015-17, $18 million per year in 2018 and 2019, and then a $5 million buyout in 2020.

When Ben Cherington made the signing, critics certainly came out in force. But few could have seen this deal going so catastrophically.

And, because we are sometimes just simple creatures here on this planet, here’s a breakdown of how much the Red Sox paid for every one of Sandoval’s contributions to the franchise. You can pick out whichever one you like best to sum up the Sandoval era.

The Red Sox paid …

$571,429 for every game Sandoval played.

The Red Sox paid …

$676,471 for each one of Sandoval’s hits.

The Red Sox paid …

$1,333,333 for each victory in which Sandoval was in the starting lineup.

The Red Sox paid …

$1,559,322 for each of Sandoval’s 59 RBIs.

The Red Sox paid …

$3,407,407 for each of Sandoval’s 27 doubles.

The Red Sox paid …

$6,571,429 for each of Sandoval’s 14 home runs.

And most telling of all, the Red Sox will pay …

$48,660,494 for Sandoval to not play baseball for them anymore.

That’s good work if you can get it.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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