Report: Padres scouting Pablo Sandoval

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The Padres are scouting Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is reporting. He also speculates that the two sides could swap big contracts, with Sandoval potentially going to the Padres and starter James Shields would go to the Red Sox.

Sandoval has had a shaky start to his tenure in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million contract in November 2014. As Cafardo notes, the Padres were one of the teams interested in Sandoval that offseason. This past season, the 29-year-old hit a disappointing .245/.292/.366 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI in 505 plate appearances. Sandoval’s weight issues have made him a lightning rod for criticism from the Boston media, so a change of scenery might help him rebound.

Obviously, just because a scout was watching Sandoval doesn’t mean a deal is in the works, but it’s not surprising that the Red Sox would pursue a trade. The Padres match up as a trading partner as well, as they could move Yangervis Solarte off of third base and use him more as a utility infielder. With Sandoval out of the picture, the Red Sox could make Travis Shaw their full-time third baseman.