BOSTON -- Veteran third baseman Pablo Sandoval was never able to generate any momentum with the Red Sox, and his quest to do so came to an abrupt end on Friday, when the club designated him for assignment.
One month after winning a third World Series with the Giants in 2014, Sandoval signed a five-year, $95 million contract with the Red Sox.
Sandoval is owed $48.3 million from the Red Sox, $41 million of which is due in 2018 and beyond.
According to's Jon Paul Morosi, it will be the second-highest total of money owed in MLB history after Josh Hamilton, who was owed $68.4 million by the Angels after they traded him to the Rangers on April 27, 2015.
Boston has 10 days to either trade Sandoval or release him outright. Even if the Red Sox worked out a trade, they would still be all but certain to be on the hook for the remainder of his salary. If he is released, Sandoval would then be free to sign with any MLB team.
Sandoval's struggles with the Red Sox ranged from offense to defense to staying healthy. He played in just 161 games during his Boston tenure, hitting .237/.286/.360 -- a far cry from what former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, who signed Sandoval, envisioned. Before Sandoval inked his deal, his line with San Francisco was .294/.346/.465 over seven seasons.
In 32 games and 99 at-bats this season, Sandoval had a line of .212/.269/.354 with four homers and 12 RBIs.
The departure of Sandoval won't change much for the Red Sox in the short term. Deven Marrero and Tzu-Wei Lin have provided some stability in recent weeks while sharing time at third, and Sandoval had been on the disabled list since June 20 with an inner ear infection.
Sandoval had been on a Minor League rebab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket since June 27. Sandoval's rehab assignment was set to expire on Sunday, but the Red Sox decided not to wait until the deadline to decide his fate with the organization.
Brock Holt should also provide some help at the hot corner when he is activated from the disabled list in the coming days. Holt has been out since April 21, and he has the versatility to play seven positions, including third base.
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski could also try to acquire a third baseman by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but it would likely be for a player who is nearing the end of his contract.
Rafael Devers, Boston's No. 1 prospect according to, is the club's third baseman of the future, and he was promoted from Double-A Portland to Pawtucket on Friday.
After trading third basemen Yoan Moncada and Travis Shaw back in December, Sandoval had the opportunity to reclaim his starting position after playing just three games last year due to left shoulder surgery.
Initially, it looked like Sandoval might be able to resurrect his career. He came into camp in much better shape, having lost close to 40 pounds. In Spring Training, Sandoval hit .338 with five homers and a 1.025 OPS.
Sandoval got the Opening Day nod at third base, but his bat went cold as soon as the season started. And on April 23, Sandoval suffered a right knee sprain that forced him to the disabled list until May 31.
Shortly after his return, Sandoval was demoted to a backup.
Ian Browne/

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